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Metropolitan Opera Guild News for August 2009

The editors of Opera News have chosen Style as the theme for the August 2009 issue, and are publishing a variety of viewpoints on the subject.  In his cover article, critic Philip Kennicott points out that style is the subject of both daydreams and debate, and asks readers to ponder: “Is the opera house the last safe place to practice the pursuit of style?”  The witty cover photo-illustration shows a young woman in casual clothes, daydreaming about a finely-costumed opera-diva version of herself, who is pictured floating in the clouds above her head.

The late, beloved Wagnerian soprano Birgit Nilsson devoted almost an entire chapter of her memoirs, La Nilsson, to the experience of being stalked by a young woman, to whom she referred only as “ Miss N.”  In “The Star and the Stalker,” author and actress Kathryn Leigh Scott reveals the fascinating story of Nell Theobald, the fan who tried to imitate a diva’s lifestyle, with tragic results.

Colleen Hill focuses on costume design over the years for the heroine of La Traviata, in an examination of “Style and Substance.”  She illustrates some of the wardrobes devised for popular Violettas of past and present, revealing how they reflect changes in contemporary fashion.

Early music specialist Emma Kirkby, the British soprano known for her dedication to “Stile antico,” visits with David Patrick Stearns.  For the last 30 years, record collectors have admired her refined and elegant singing, which for many has defined the sound of early vocal music.  The soprano will tour the U.S. with lutenist Jakob Lindberg in the coming autumn, giving ten concerts.

Opera News for August has reviews of performances, recordings, books, and DVDs – among them extensive coverage of operatic goings-on around the world. 

Opera News Editor, F. Paul Driscoll, profiles young American conductor Evan Rogister in his “Sound Bites” column, which introduces especially fine young talent to readers every month.

Among the specialties available exclusively on the Opera News website is a talk with American bass-baritone Greer Grimsley – portraying Wotan in Seattle Opera’s “Ring” this summer – in which he expatiates on the finer points of forging a modern Wagnerian style.  Further information is available at, with new articles made available only to Opera News subscribers and Met Patrons. 

The Guild’s full schedule of educational programs and other events for the 2009-10 season will be announced shortly.

And don’t forget…

The Metropolitan Opera Guild will open its 2009-10 season on September 15 with the first of its four major public events – “Met Legends – James Levine” (details below).

Tuesday, September 15 at 7:30 pm

The Metropolitan Opera Guild Presents:


Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City

Maestro James Levine, Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is the subject of the Metropolitan Opera Guild’sfirst public event of the new season.  “Met Legends: James Levine” takes place at New York’s Alice Tully Hall on Tuesday, September 15 at 7:30 pm.  The “Maestro of the Met” himself will be the guest of honor, on stage with the Guild’s Paul Gruber to watch rare video clips and to discuss his life and unrivaled career.  Exclusive video footage will be shown, including a new video biography of the Maestro that incorporates rare footage of the young James Levine with his family.

Program tickets:

$45 for Guild members and Met patrons

$75 for others

$150 (members and nonmembers) for priority seating followed by artist’s reception with champagne and dessert

A few seats to the Pre-Performance Dinner with the Artists’ Circle are still available for $600, which includes the dinner, premium seating for the performance, and the reception.

For more information and to order tickets by phone, call (212) 769-7009

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© 21C Media Group, July 2009

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