No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  nyfos

Machiavelli’s La Mandragola was Mark’s next idea, and he eventually convinced Bill that the idea had legs. “I liked it because it was centered around a woman,” Bill told me, “and (in our version) a woman who comes out on top. I had only one proviso: I wanted to set it in Argentina.” Why? “Well, I wanted to write a zarzuela…as imagined by the Marx Brothers.”




 |  Luretta Bybee

I couldn’t submit five choices without choosing one piece operatic. Ok, it’s a bit long but it’s Richard Wagner, the early years when he was still in his ‘bel canto’ period. And baby, could he ever write a melody and throw some rockin’ orchestration at it.




 |  Theo Hoffman

I spent three hours of my day today listening to my fellow young artists here in LA sing arias for each other, with feedback from our fearless leader Josh Winograde, who’s job is the hiring of singers. These sessions are a chance for us to get up, sing something that may be a total work in progress, and work through our challenges. One thing that Josh says time and time again is to “give us what we want.” I think this is so poignant, and a topic of much debate among modern musicians.




 |  Theo Hoffman

If I felt strange and out of place in the rehearsal room, my discomforts were quelled when we got into the theater. It turns out Verdi didn’t write Macbeth for a rehearsal room, and it is certainly something exhilarating to be onstage in a gorgeous 3000+ seat house hearing these singers do what they do (and doing a bit of it myself), learning from the dark, majestic sect of this art form called Verdi. Here for your listening pleasure is Maria Callas singing Lady Macbeth’s final grand scena, the Sleepwalking Scene, from Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth.




 |  Nicole Dalé Halton

And now for some parent-related frivolity courtesy of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. This duet makes having lots of little ones running around sound like nothing but fun, but I’d love to hear another version of this ten years down the line once all of those little Papagenos and Papagenas have their parents busy! This recording features Bryn Terfel and Miah Persson.




 |  NYFOS@North Fork

“Steal me, sweet thief” has been one of my favorite arias since I heard it about 2 years ago. I only started singing it recently because my usual English aria, “No Word from Tom” from Stravinsky’s opera The Rakes Progress (another must-listen), wasn’t quite doing it for me anymore. “Steal me” is one of the only well known arias by Menotti.




 |  Sasha Cooke

This week I wanted to look at composers not yet featured on NYFOS programs who have exceptional ‘voices’ in the contemporary realm and more specifically, ones with a natural facility writing for the voice in particular. In Laura Kaminsky’s case, her entree into the opera world would not only have tremendous impact in the classical, social and artistic scenes, but she also would introduce a subject matter so current that soon thereafter it became a cultural obsession—the experience of being transgender.




 |  Sasha Cooke

So enter Joby Talbot. For the most part, Joby hadn’t written much vocal music when I met him. Like Caroline from yesterday, he’s done some crossover work and also written for countless movies, ballets and stage pieces. His Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was the first full-length narrative ballet score to be commissioned by The Royal Ballet in 20 years. Not as much for the voice when Dallas Opera commissioned him for 2015. Gene Scheer had an idea for an opera and the two of them immediately hit it off. He is a magician when it comes to word and emotion and the simplicity that often allows them to serve one another so well.




 |  Steven Blier

Sasha Cooke walked into my studio at Juilliard twelve years ago, bringing songs from Fauré’s La chanson d’Eve. My life instantly took a turn for the better. From the beginning Sasha had That Sound—I describe her voice as the love child of Janet Baker and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson—rich, intense, somehow fruity and folky at the same time. I knew I wanted to be one of her musical partners for life, also sensing that I would have to share her with a lot of other folks. (Thank God I had learned to be polyamorous as a musician.)