The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Riccardo Muti gives up opera at Salzburg Festival. Deborah Voigt backs of out of Chicago role. Placido Domingo fights piracy. Metropolitan Opera baritone Cornell MacNeil dies. Annna Netrebko to open a restauranht. Andre Rieu premieres a waltz by Anthony Hopkins. | July 30, 2011

By Jacob Stockinger

What is it about opera singers? They always seem to make news, no matter they do.

If they take on a role, it’s news. If they leave a role, it’s news. When they start a career, it’s news. When they end a career, it’s news. The life of many opera starts is … well, operatic.

True, it’s not always about opera stars – conductors also loom large.

Especially opera conductors.

Big egos get big coverage, and I guess opera singers and conductors are the big celebrities of classical music in the commercialized and glamor-hungry culture we live in.

Just take a look at some of the events in this week’s revival:

ITEM: Deborah Voigt (below, as Brunnhilde in Wagner’s “Die Walkure“) backs out of Strauss revival at Lyric Opera of Chicago:

ITEM: After 40 years, Chicago Symphony Orchestra maestro Riccardo Muti (below) will give up doing operas at the annual summer Salzburg Festival:,0,6530748.story

ITEM: Superstar tenor Placido Domingo (below) joins the fight against music piracy:

 ITEM: Red-hot Finnish conductor John Storgards (below) fills in for James Levine at Tanglewood – and draws raves:

ITEM: Metropolitan Opera baritone Cornell MacNeil (below) has died at 88:

ITEM:  Diva Anna Netrebko (below) is turning restaurateur:

ITEM: Schmalzy violin virtuoso and waltz king Andre Rieu gives the world premiere of a waltz by Sir Anthony “Hannibal the Cannibal Lector” Hopkins, who has apparently composed a lot of music:

ITEM: The annual summer rites of Richard Wagner (below) in Bayreuth got started this past week. Here’s an account of opening day:

Posted in Classical music

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