In Opera Philadelphia's Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD, composer Daniel Schnyder illuminates the life of the groundbreaking jazz saxophonist. But, as WRTI’s Kile Smith reports, while the music is all original, the composer couldn’t help slipping in just a taste of Parker for the opera’s lead tenor, Lawrence Brownlee.
What composer Daniel Schnyder did not want to write in his opera about the great Charlie Parker was warmed-over bebop. His opera, Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD, is original through and through.
A new opera tells the compelling story of an American jazz icon in a way that broadens and diversifies opera’s audience. Opera Philadelphia is in the midst of preparing for the world premiere of Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD. The role of Parker was composed by Daniel Schnyder with tenor Lawrence Brownlee in mind.
Eric Owens has come a long way from Philadelphia's Central High School. This once-fledging oboe player has evolved into a bass-baritone who has opera productions built around him. One is Opera Philadelphia's current Don Carlo, where he's singing the role of lonely, powerful King Philip, but took time to share trade secrets with The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns.
The door closed behind Jennifer Higdon. She was in the office of her college conducting professor, Robert Spano, seeking advice about what to do. She had just heard back from the Curtis Institute of Music - they had accepted her application for graduate studies, but so had other music schools. She needed guidance. "I'm not letting you out of here," Spano said, until she agreed to accept the spot from Curtis.
Having premiered much new music, soprano Dawn Upshaw held a master class for singers and Opera Philadelphia's composers in residence…together! The better they understand each other, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns, the better listeners will understand them.
The East Coast premiere of an opera about the 19th-century, Anglo-Irish writer Oscar Wilde is from Feb. 6th t0 15th at the Academy of Music.As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, Wilde's life story is as compelling as his work.
Oscar Wilde came to America early in his career, even before he’d written anything of any consequence. He was already a gifted raconteur.
Historian John Cooper is an authority on Wilde in America. He says many of Wilde’s most-quoted phrases, like much of his writings, have a timeless quality.
Richard Nixon, Patty Hearst, and J. Robert Oppenheimer are just three of the historic figures that have been portrayed on the modern opera stage. Next is the most beloved icon of all, John F. Kennedy, in an opera that will premiere in Fort Worth, but is being partly developed by Opera Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns is finding out just what might make JFK sing.
This Sunday at 1 pm, it’s the fast-paced, one-act opera Salome, among the most important musical works of the 20th century, standing out for its revolutionary use of a large-scale orchestra and virtuosic singers, as much as for its graphic depiction of this deeply psychological tale, performed in a historic, joint production by The Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia. It was the Orchestra’s last concert this past May, just before they departed on their China Tour.
It was a Bible story, and then a French play by Oscar Wilde. Then it was translated into German, before Strauss turned it into his opera, Salome. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a production from May, 2014 continued the evolution of this complex and compelling work of art.
On Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 1 pm on WRTI, listen to a recorded broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia performing Richard Strauss' Salome.
Bass-baritone Alan Held talks with WRTI's Susan Lewis about his character, Jochanaan (John the Baptist).