Thursday, October 19, 2006

American Idol of Opera

This might be one of the more entertaining articles about opera that I have read in a while. Both snarky and celebratory, it makes one wonder … If Americans are tuning in droves to watch young people who “think they can dance,” is a televised opera competition so far fetched?

The prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions are held regionally each year with winners from their division going on to compete for the opportunity to participate in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Met. This program, which began in 1954, has discovered talent in the likes of Renee Fleming, Jessye Norman and Deborah Voigt (all of whom have or will perform at TBPAC - shameless plug).

An exerpt from the Portlan Willamette Week article linked above:

Competitions for aspiring opera singers are increasingly popular public affairs; they even attract audiences outside of the usual suspects (ahem, blue-hairs and opera queens). That's because for crash-and-burn aria victims, highwire vocal acrobatics and an always-entertaining and unusually tacky parade of gowns, the Met Opera Oregon district … is especially matchless. And at $7 a head for a nearly four-hour operatic orgy, it's some of the most entertaining classical bang for your buck all year.

The article then goes on to discuss both the talented and (ahem) not-so-talented competetors with a verve that should make American Idol’s Simon blush.

So of course, dear readers, I had to find out for myself when we can experience such a glorious parade of divas-in-training in Florida. Turns out, on January 20th at the Trinity Preparatory School Auditorium in Winter Park, we can watch the regional competitions in all of their glory.

Remember, Oratorio, musical theater, or zarzuela are NOT permitted.

But they don’t say anything about brining in a flask and getting your snark on.

-Kari G.

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