Did you hear the news? Lyric Opera Baltimore is bringing Grand Opera back to Mobtown!
Out of the many, many failing classical music institutions across the country, Lyric Opera Baltimore seems to be one of the very few that has risen from the ashes. Check out this guest post I wrote for OperaPulse about their first production of the 2011-2012 season.
Baltimore, MD – Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon neighborhood was buzzing last night with excitement about the return of Grand Opera to our beloved Charm City. Going to an opening night of a new company there are many inherent questions and issues that may befall the production. As I waited, a bit impatiently, in a will-call line that delayed the curtain by at least thirty minutes, I wondered, “Is this going to be the standard for the rest of the night?” There were also tentative murmurs and questions in the lobby before the performance – has Lyric Opera Baltimore really figured out how to bring Grand Opera back?
Also, check out this excellent article (Lyric Opera Baltimore Performs La Traviata) written by our sybaritic friend, Samantha Buker for City Paper. It charts the beginnings and current goings-on of Grand Opera in Baltimore.
In November 1939, a former Metropolitan Opera diva moved to Baltimore, forever changing the city’s musical landscape. Sixty-nine years later, in November 2008, the Baltimore Opera Company she shaped lowered the curtain on its final performance because of financial issues. Today, a new company, forged for collaboration, rises once more. Lyric Opera Baltimore kicks off its 2011-2012 season this weekend.
Harp says he’ll visit about 30,000 schoolchildren this year, often bringing along operatic puppet shows tailored for younger opera-goers. “At the end of a puppet show, when you ask them, ‘Who wants to be an opera singer when they grow up?’ nearly every hand shoots up,” he says.
That’s promising. Eight cities lost opera in the recession beginning in 2008. Only one came back.
- let’s discuss: Should Opera’s Dress Code be Grand Too? (sybariticsinger.wordpress.com)
- What Makes Opera Grand? (sgtr.wordpress.com)