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Ten Things I've Learned about Opera

I'm still a new kid on the Opera block. When I joined the Opera Memphis team as the Marketing and Outreach Associate in October, I knew...well...that I liked opera. But any of the fine points? Nope. While I've certainly learned a lot more about the operas themselves, what I've most enjoyed is learning about this whole world of auditions, costume shops, and weird tax nuance. Here are my favorite new learnings from thus far in my opera administrative career! 1. The Met Auditions are a little... Read More
Posted by Aubree Penney at Wednesday, January 27, 2016 | 0 comments
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A Hero's Journey

By Alison Moritz, Director of  The Magic Flute “The fates lead him who will; him who won’t they drag.” - Joseph Campbell The Hero’s Journey, as examined by mythologist Joseph Campbell, includes twelve classic stages. They include a call to adventure, the refusal of the call, meeting with a mentor, tests, an ordeal, a reward, the road back, and resurrection. There are countless examples from literature and popular culture that adhere to the pattern of a classic hero’s... Read More
at Thursday, November 19, 2015 | 0 comments
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Like Mother, Like Daughter

By Music Dir ector  Ben Makino (All production images courtesy of  Joey Miller , 2015) In this post, I thought I’d show some of the considerations that contribute to an interpretation of The Magic Flute by looking at two of its arias: The Queen of the Night’s Act I aria ( O zittre nicht ) and Pamina’s Act II aria ( Ach, ich fühl’s ). I would like to mention before starting that a work like The Magic Flute has accumulated an enormous volume of analysis over the past... Read More
at Thursday, November 19, 2015 | 0 comments
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Welcome to the Jungle!

By Alison Moritz, Director of  The Magic Flute Tuesday, November 10 Today is our last day of rehearsals in the Clark Opera Memphis Center. The scenery has arrived at the Germantown Performing Arts Center, so we’re beginning to incorporate many of the props that arrived with the set. For weeks, I’ve been particularly curious about the “remote controlled parrot” on the props list. This sounds like a pretty fun prop, right? I had assumed it would be a sort of helicopter parrot... Read More
at Thursday, November 12, 2015 | 0 comments
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Translation and Canon

By Music Director Ben Makino I first read this a few months ago, and it was originally going to be the heart of a different post, but seeing as we’re in the midst of staging The Magic Flute , one of the most popular and studied pieces in the repertoire, it seems particularly appropriate now. It is from the introduction to Dennis Washburn’s new translation of The Tale of Genji , which I impulse-purchased in early August. While I unfortunately haven’t gotten into this translation of the Tale... Read More
at Tuesday, November 10, 2015 | 0 comments
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Strawberry Cake: The Great Equalizer

I have a terrible habit of being awed by talented people. People who’ve honed their skills, poured their hearts into their craft, and continue to do so for the benefit of their communities just leave me a little dazzled. Witnessing the embodiment of such passion blows me away, instantly transforming me from a chatterbox into a shy wallflower. So when the cast of The Magic Flute  arrived on Monday, I found myself a little shy. After all, they've sung all over the world in incredible... Read More
Posted by Aubree Penney at Tuesday, November 3, 2015 | 0 comments
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The Journey So Far

By Alison Moritz, Director of  The Magic Flute . The schedul e for this production of  The Magic Flute  has been a bit unusual. We began rehearsals last Thursday, and staged the entire opera with chorus, children, and supernumeraries only. Here’s a peek into our process so fa r:  Thursday, October 29 The day begins with me finding much needed coffee at Bluff City Coffee, just a block from where I’m staying. (My neighborhood is great! Just look... Read More
at Monday, November 2, 2015 | 0 comments
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How to Spell Musetta

Our newest team member Aubree Penney talks about her first day at Opera Memphis in the first of a series of posts about life in the offices at Opera Memphis. “Try Musetta,” Sarah, the Director of Operations, told me as I tried various passwords for the computer on my first day. “Oh darn, how do I spell Musetta…is that the guy who wrote the waltz? Wait, does he have something to do with opera?” I thought to myself as I stumbled through the spelling in hopes of landing on the magic password. ... Read More
Posted by Aubree Penney at Friday, October 30, 2015 | 0 comments
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Enter as Strangers, Leave as Friends

By Alison Moritz,  Director of The Magic Flute . For the past six weeks, the neighborhood of Belltown in Seattle has been my temporary home while I worked on a production of Bizet’s  The Pearl Fishers  at the Seattle Opera. This placard is placed above the doorway of a nearby hostel, and it seems like a fitting beginning to this behind-the-scenes series of Opera Memphis’  The Magic Flute . In 2007, I first encountered the wit and wisdom of Opera Memphis General... Read More
at Wednesday, October 28, 2015 | 0 comments
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How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 2

By Music Director Ben Makino Get a sneak peek into Ben's summer in this latter half of his two part post,  How I Spent My Summer Vacation . Missed the first part? Check it out here . In between all of these small and large projects I managed to get some reading done, perhaps most notably the recent Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph by Jan Swafford. After reading Robert Gutman’s Mozart: A Cultural Biography a year ago, I wanted to dedicate more time to learning about the... Read More
at Friday, October 23, 2015 | 0 comments
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