5 Things You Didn’t Know About Opera (part 1)

This story is part of a series of 50 stories we are releasing to commemorate 50 years of opera in West Michigan. Browse more stories and follow our journey throughout the season.

 

Why opera singers don’t use microphones, what famous singer holds the world record for longest applause,

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Posted in 50 Stories


A Costume Designer’s Role as Dramaturge, Den Mother, Seamstress and Psychologist

This story is part of a series of 50 stories we are releasing to commemorate 50 years of opera in West Michigan. Browse more stories and follow our journey throughout the season.

 

 

In one of the opera’s most vital roles,

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Posted in 50 Stories


A History of Opera in Grand Rapids

This story is part of a series of 50 stories we are releasing to commemorate 50 years of opera in West Michigan. Browse more stories and follow our journey throughout the season.

 

On opening night,

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Posted in 50 Stories


The Commercial Domination of ‘La donna è mobile’

Whether you’re a veteran opera buff or a novice, chances are that you’ve heard the tenor showpiece “La donna è mobile.”

“La donna è mobile,” Rigoletto’s best-known aria, is featured in such diverse commercials as Leggo’s tomato sauce, a goofy Doritos Super Bowl ad where a baby is slingshotted through the air in an attempt to steal his brother’s chips,

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Posted in Opera in Pop Culture


Song & Dance: An Opera GR and GR Ballet Collaboration

The classical arts have a special relationship to one another. In the world of grand opera, orchestration, song, dance and theatre all come together to create the final larger-than-life product. Take, for example, Opera Grand Rapids 2007 production of Carmen, which featured both the Grand Rapids Ballet on the stage and the Grand Rapids Symphony in the orchestra pit.

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Posted in Uncategorized


Opera from the orchestra pit

When most people think of opera, they think of the singers on the stage. However, in an opera, the orchestra plays an equally important role. Grand Rapids Symphony musicians Barbara Corbató, Assistant Principal Viola, and Alexander Miller, Assistant Principal Oboe, understand this well.

“The orchestra and voices on stage are so dependent on each other.

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Posted in Uncategorized


Figaro gets his own ice cream flavor

Opera Grand Rapids teams up with Love’s Ice Cream (yet again) to unveil a new ice cream flavor in celebration of Opera Grand Rapids’ upcoming production of The Barber of Seville.

Inspired by The Barber of Seville’s title character–the ever-wacky,

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Posted in Uncategorized


Remembering the classic “Rabbit of Seville”

It’s no surprise that Rabbit of Seville, a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short released in 1950, was voted #12 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.

Director Chuck Jones and writer Michael Maltese draw on Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville for inspiration,

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Posted in Opera in Pop Culture


Opera Grand Rapids teams up with Brewery Vivant for “Beer of Seville”

The Barber of Seville’s most famous aria is “Largo al factotum,” though Bugs Bunny fans may know it simply as “Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!” The title character, local barber Figaro, belts this tongue-twisting piece by way of introduction, establishing a personality at once bombastic, bold, and able.

Perhaps the barber had a taste of what Vivant was brewing.

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Posted in News


The story of a composer’s opera premiere

Gioachino Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia

Few operas have had more sensational openings than The Barber of Seville. Accounts of the fiasco vary in detail, but all agree Rome’s Teatro Argentina audience feasted at young Rossini’s expense. Everything that could go wrong did,

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Posted in Program Notes