Saturday, November 20, 2010

Support our Butterfly Reviews!

Yunah Lee as Madame Butterfly, photo by J. David Levy

Kentucky Opera closes out the 2010 Brown-Forman Fall Season with Madame Butterfly this weekend (November 19 & 21). We heard a lot of rave reviews from a lot of great people who attended the opera on Friday. Here are a couple that are actually in writing and available online.
The Arts Louisville, a website dedicated to the promotion of all the arts in our community, has given actor and historical interpereter, J. Barrett Cooper the task of reviewing Kentucky Opera. He has willingly been transported this season with us and we are grateful for his final 2010 review. Find it here.

Another online resoruce for stories and reviews is Louisville.Com. This valuable website is the digital sister of Louisville Magazine, and is their way of being more timely when it comes to events and news. Louisville Magazine/ have been developing the digital brand by investing time and resources and is really becoming the GO TO site to find out where to go, what to do, where to eat and what to see. For Kentucky Opera, gives us the very talented writer, Selena Frye. Her previews and reviews are a valuable resource for the community to learn more about the Opera. Her Butterfly Review can be found here.

Charles Parsons is the regional reviewer for Opera News, and was working last night. While we don't often get reviewed by Opera News, when we do, it's usually their on-line version. If you get the magazine, you can get the on-line reviews. Keep an eye out and if you see it, let us know.

From my tone, you maybe able to tell, I am asking for something. I am asking that you support and visit the media that supports & vistis Kentucky Opera. These sites find value in clicks, so when you see a link, click it. If they can tell that people are visiting their sites through Kentucky Opera's blog, website, FaceBook page or tweets, they will see the value in supporting KYO with reviews and previews.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Madame Butterfly Previews are in!

Yunah Lee as Cio-Cio San in Kentucky Opera's Madame Butterfly. Photo by J. David Levy.

Tonight is the Final Dress Rehearsal for Madame Butterfly and we are expecting a full house. We invite schools and donors to join us for this rehearsal which makes the experience mutually beneficial. Middle & high school students get to see live opera in its grandest setting and our singing actors and musicians have the opportunity to get a live response from an audience. I have heard many stage directors say these students are the best audience. They aren't afraid to react when something is funny or surprising. They are honest and outright with their experiences.

I would like to encourage anyone who wants to see the final opera of the 2010 Brown-Forman Fall Season, don't wait. We honestly only have 100 vacant seats (as of Tuesday 11/16) available for the entire weekend. GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!! 502.584.7777!

Our dear friends at the LEO have given us a great write up after Bill Doolittle spoke with Maestro Joe Mechavich and Soprano Yunah Lee.
Read the article here.

If you missed it, Selena Fry of Louisville.Com spoke with our fabulous wig & makeup designer, Sue Sittko Schaefer. Read her article here.

We were expecting a story yesterday from the Courier Journal. Andrew Adler was going to write a guest spot for us. He spoke to David Roth who is stage directing this piece, and our Cio-Cio San, Yunah Lee. Here it is Wednesday, and no story. Do let us know if you see it~

We have video!!

This video is from Kentucky Opera's 2005 production with Ailan Zhu as Cio-Cio San and Stephen Mark Brown as B.F. Pinkerton.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sitz what? Whosit Probe??

It's a pretty scary word, Sitzprobe. It sounds like an extremly invasive uncomfortable medical proceedure. The german word translates as "Seated test." In our case, it's a seated rehearsal.

Actually its a very special moment in the opera world. It is the moment when all the pieces come together for the first time. Singers and chorus will sing through the entire opera on stage for the first time with the Louisville Orchestra in the pit of the Brown Theatre. The singers will generally sit down or just stand rather than go through the stage blocking.

This special moment is happening for Kentucky Opera tonight. Up until now, the main stage singers have been rehearsing during the day in the 2nd floor rehearsal room, the chorus rehearses in the evening in the same space, and the orchestra has rehearsed on stage rather than in the orchestra pit.

Tonight we will hear how the voices blend with the orchestra. Most of the guest artists have only SEEN the stage. Tonight they will hear how their voices resonate in the hall. The conductor, Joe Mechavich, will be in the pit with the musicians. The director, our very own David Roth, will sit in the middle of the house with a note taker. Stage management will be back stage, making sure artists are ready, preparing cues and ready to halt the action if something needs tweeking.

Customarily, the rehearsal following the Sitz, is the wandleprobe. I bet you can guess what that means. It means singers may not sing full voice or "mark" but they will add the blocking and maybe there will be more props and they might try costume changes. Lighting cues will be refined. All of this requires the strict coordination of the stage management team. More on them next time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Madame Butterfly

Madame Butterfly is by far one of the most popular operas in the entire repetiore. There are a million reasons to love this opera, the story, the music, the history.

The Kentucky Center for the Arts posts "Staff Pics" on their blog, This month, Madame Butterfly is Jeffery Jamners' Staff Pic. Here's why...

Monday, November 8, 2010

NEW YORK STORIES Makes House Calls

The Courier Journal's Katya Cengle had the distinct honor of joining the Patron's Circle for a night of guerrilla opera. Daron Hagen's New York Stories was a part of Kentucky Opera's Composer Workshop program and Opera America's National Opera Week celebration.

Our Studio Artists: Brandy Hawkins, Gabriel Preisser, Andrea Shokery, Daniel Anderson and Tomasz PaweĊ‚ Sadownik were joined by UofL School of Music Students Erin Keesy and Ricky Case to perform his trillogy in three homes of downtown Louisville.
Click HERE to read the whole story.
In case you missed the previous post, which includes a video interview with the compser and an excerpt from one of the three operas, click HERE.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New York Stories

On Halloween weekend, a privileged few got a special treat. After a week of intensive workshops, Kentucky Opera studio artists performed Daron Hagen’s New York Stories in three downtown homes as a part of Opera America’s National Opera Week. The three short operas have all been performed in concert; and the first has been staged several times. But this is the first time that composer Hagen has seen them all performed together. Hagen suggested site-specifc stagings in private homes, and directed the staging of all three..

Andrea Shokery and Gabriel Preisser performed Broken Pieces at Phil and Kathy Scherer’s lovely home at Preston Pointe. The 50 or so guests were served a glass of wine and sat back to watch what happened next. The opera started from an upstairs bedroom and meandered throughout the entire open space.
Daron Hagen tells the story in this video.

I will get the other videos up as soon as they are ready.