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Call for Volunteers

Enjoy meeting others in Rochester's opera community and contributing to the availability of opera activities by volunteering for the Opera Guild!  Learning a small job or part of a larger one will pay off in numerous ways for anyone who wants to participate.  Currently there are several jobs posted: Assistant Publisher, Publicity Manager, Mail & Database Maintenance Assistant, Document Designer, and Audio/Visual Technician.

If you would like to volunteer in some other way, just let us know what your interest is and we will certainly find a place to accommodate it.  Contact Carol Crocca, Director of Development, at


Edition Viva Voce, November 2015
The Opera Guild of Rochester, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a mission to support opera and opera education in the greater Rochester area.

The Guild presents free opera lectures at local libraries, tours to productions of local opera companies and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, and our popular Beat-the-Blahs, Haskell Rosenberg Memorial Series, at Temple B'rith Kodesh in Brighton.

Our Website serves as a clearinghouse for local and regional opera, concert, and recital information, with links to other music organizations on our area. Please visit us at   

This newsletter is sent via eMail each month, currently to over 3,000 subscribers.  For a free subscription send your contact details, including your eMail address, to

The Opera Guild of Rochester is also on facebook. For up-to-date information on opera-related news and events, please visit us on

Reader Article submission deadline for the next issue is the 15th of the previous month.

OperaWeekNational Opera Week Celebration at the Lyric Theater
440 East Avenue Rochester

During the week of November 2 - 8, there will be six events open to the public, including performances by Opera Ithaca, Houghton Lyric Theater, and Rochester Lyric Artists with Rochester Lyric Chorus.

For details please click here:

Featuring Rochester Lyric Artists and  Lyric Opera Chorus

Eric Townell, Artistic Director 


Nov 7, Lyric Theater, 440 East Ave, 7:30 PM

Tickets: $25.00 general admission, $20.00 senior/student, available at the door.

AxelrodRochester Lyric Opera and
Opera Guild of Rochester 
Present an Opera Week lecture

Bad Boys in Opera: Villains, Drunkards and Charlatans.

Art Axelrod on Monday, November 2, 2015 at 7 - 9 pm. The Lyric Theater, 440 East Ave. 
METHDHD Season Live at the Met

Berg's Lulu - New production 
November 21, 2015

Acclaimed artist and director William Kendridge ( the Nose) applies his unique theatrical vision to Berg's femme fatale who shatters lives, including her own.  Musically, the masterful score is in the sure hands of Met Music Director James Levine. Soprano Marlis Petersen has excited audiences around the world with her portrayal of the title role - a wild journey of love, obsession, and death. She joins a winning cast, including Susan Graham, Daniel Brenna, and Johan Reuter.
Click on the following links to get more information

eastmanEastman Opera Theater Season

Hydrogen Jukebox by Philip Glass
November 5, 6, 7 at 7:30 PM, November 8 at 2 PM  
Kilbourn Hall
Hydrogen Jukebox is a collaboration of poet Allen Ginsberg and composer Philip Glass. Glass set eighteen of Ginsberg's poems for a chamber ensemble, a narrator, and six architypical American characters.  The poems deal with the anti-war movement, the sexual revolution, drugs, Eastern philosophy, environmental awareness - all issues that seemed 'counter-cultural' in their day. 
Stephen Daigle, stage director; Benton Hess, music director.
Suor Angelica by Puccini
Mese mariano
by Giordano 
January 28, 29, 30 at 7:30 PM, January 30 at 2 PM  
804 Annex 
Suor Angelica is the second in a trio of operas known as Il trittico.  
Mese mariano is an opera in one act with an Italian libretto by Salvatore Di Giacomo,  adapted from his own play. 
Both operas deal with the grief of women who were forced to give up their children.

Stephen Carr, stage director; Ksenia Leletkina, music director.

Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart 
April 7, 8, 9 at 7:30 PM, April 10 at 2 PM 
Eastman Theater 
Mozart and librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte's most popular and delightful comedy in which the servants succeed in thwarting the Duke's lecherous plans. 
Friends of Eastman Opera Annual Dinner
April 7 at 5:00 PM at Miller Center
Friends of Eastman Opera Voice competition
February 12 at 8 PM
Tickets sold through the Eastman Theatre Box Office
433 East Main Street, Rochester NY
Tel: 585-454-2100
More information can be obtained at   

festivalGlimmerglass Festival Season 2016

La Boheme
Puccini / Illica & Giacosa

July 8 - August 26, 2016
Sweeney Todd
Sondheim / Wheeler
July 9 - August 27, 2016
The Thieving Magpie (La gazza ladra) 
Rossini / Gherardini
July 16 - August 25, 2016
The Crucible
Ward / Stambler
July 23 - August 27, 2016
More information can be obtained at
or by calling (607) 547-2255

Single tickets from $26.00 on sale January 25, 2016

Syracuse Opera Season

2015-2016 Season

Glory Denied 

Nov. 6, 2015 at 8 p.m. 

La Boheme

Feb. 5, 2016 at 8 p.m.

West Side Story

Apr. 8, 2016 at 8 p.m

For season tickets call the box office (315) 476 7372

Click Here for more details

Tri-Cities Opera Season

Barber of Seville
Sweeney Todd
Oct. 23 & 25, 2015
Nov. 12-15, 2015
April 29 & May 1, 2016

The Telephone / Trouble in Tahiti

Feb. 18-21, 2016


For season tickets call the box office ( 607) 797-6344


For more information click here


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NickelNickel City Opera
 2015-2016 Season

Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors
Libretto by the composer.

This beloved Children's opera will be repeated for the 6th season on
November 27, 28, and 29, 2015
For details and tickets call the Box Office at (716) 939-3722

Songs of Love
Valentine's Day, February 14, 2016, 2:30 pm
The Lancaster Opera House
For details and tickets call the Box Office at (716) 683-1776

International debut of
Persis Vehar's
Libretto by Gabrielle Vehar
Shea's Performance Arts Center
Friday June 10, 2016, at 8 p.m. and Sunday June 12 at 2:30 p.m.
For details and tickets call the Box Office at (716) 939-3722

Shot is the seventh opera by Buffalo native and Composer-in-Residence, Persis Parshal Vehar.

The opera deals with the assassination of President William McKinley on September 6, 1901, in Buffalo on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition. He was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz and died on September 14. 1901 from his  wounds. 
Persis Vehar
Persis Vehar
Photo: Jim Bush
The opera was commissioned by Valerian Ruminski, the Director of Nickel City Opera, who will be singing the bass-baritone role of President William McKinley.

Click here for Persis Vehar's biography

For more Nickel City Opera Website click here:  

Chautauqua Opera Season 2016

This is the first Chautauqua Opera Season under new general/artistic director Steven Osgood.

Mainstage Production

Verdi's La Traviata
Chautauqua Amphitheatre
July 9, 2016.
Stage Director and Choreographer, Keturah Stickann

Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado
July 29 and August 1, 2016 at Norton Hall

The Chautauqua Opera Company will present a re-imagining of this beloved opera, directed and conceived by Ned Canty.

Canty's Mikado received rave reviews in St. Louis and Memphis. He infuses the opera with references to modern Japanese animation, fashion and pop culture, including anime, manga and Hello Kitty. This colorful and spectacular production is sure to delight and engage opera audiences of all generations.

Missy Mazzoli's Song from the Uproar
The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt
Logan Chamber Music Series, August 8, 2016

The opera is inspired by the life and writings of the 19th Century Swiss adventuress Isabelle Eberhardt, who at the age of 20 traveled alone to North Africa, where she dressed as a man, joined an all-male Sufi sect, married an Algerian soldier and was drowned in a flash flood at the age of 27.

Music Director Stephen Taylor has woven together voice, live chamber music, electronics, and film. Song from the Uproar was written for mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer and NOW Ensemble, who will perform the work this summer with five Chautauqua Opera Young Artists.

For more information about the Chautauqua Opera season 2016 please visit:


CanadaCanadian Opera Company
2015-2016 Season

Verdi's La Traviata
October 8, 13, 16, 17, 21, 24, 29, 30 and
November 1, 4, 6, 2015

Barbara Monk Feldman

  • Pyramus and Thisbe

Claudio Monteverdi

  • IL Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda
  • Lamento d'Arianna
October 20, 23, 25, 28 and
November 5, 7, 2015

Wagner's Siegfried
January 23, 27, 30 and
February 2, 5, 11, 14, 2016

Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro
February 4, 7, 9, 13, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27,  2016
Bizet's CarmenApril 12, 17, 20, 23, 28, 30 and
May 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 2016

Rossini's Maometto II
April 29, and
May 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 14,  2016

Subscribe by phone: 

(416) 363-8231

1 800-250-4653

by mail:

Ticket Services Canadian Opera Company

227 Front St. E.

Toronto, ON M5A 1E8

Click Here for more information.

Opera Guild of Rochester
Free Library Lecture season begins

Rochester Public Library
Bausch and Lomb Branch
115 South Ave., Rochester NY 14604
(585) 428-7300

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 12-1 P.M.

"Bad Girls in Opera"
Presented by Carol Crocca

ReaderArticlesReader Articles

This section brings you articles written by anyone involved in opera, from impresarios, to singers, to fans.  If you have seen a performance that you want to review, or have attended a class or workshop that you want to write about, or have a story or a review that would interest others, we encourage you to submit it to us and we will schedule it for inclusion.  Please send your submissions to and please limit them to 500 words.  All submissions are subject to editorial review.

Reader Article #1

Popera? The Classical Crossover Debate
By Allyn Van Dusen
As human beings evolve and develop new creative avenues, there is a constant demand to invent new categories to keep everything straight. What we term Music History starts in the 1500's, but it is likely that human beings of all cultures have been making, and enjoying, music in some form or another for millions of years. In relatively recent centuries, the modern study of music has identified and categorized the various musical genres. Nowadays it seems that these, like rules, are made to be broken. We live in a period of category fusion and genre-defying sonic landscapes.
The term "crossover" in music usually refers to one of two things: first, a blending of genres, exhibiting qualities of more than one traditional style, often with mass appeal in mind; and second, an artist well-known in one genre performing music from another, often with mass appeal in mind.
Audiences choose what to listen to, parting with hard-earned money to go to performances, buy recordings, and become fans. Thus the business world, which revolves around the commercial value of anything people pay for, gears its categories and genres to generate profits. Once upon a time, the nobility was the prime supporter of instrumental music, and a comic musical play such as Mozart's The Magic Flute was regarded as lower class entertainment. It's fascinating how that has flip-flopped, with opera usually thought of now as "high-brow" and the pop music so carefully aimed at mass tastes happily stepping in to cultivate star power and collect big money.
The colloquial term "classical music" that describes various styles of Western art music of the last few centuries points to the ideals of a long tradition. The Latin word classicus, however, simply means belonging to a class, and we call something a classic when it is an outstanding, high quality example of that class. Gradually, because it has stood the test of time, the Classical music genre has come to refer to symphonic or operatic music played on European-designed instruments developed long ago, written by recognized masters of their craft (even if it was not initially pleasing to the general public.) It is interesting to note, however, that as once ground-breaking musical styles endure and the cream rises to the surface, we begin to refer to classic rock, pop classics, country classics, and so on.
What then exactly is Classical Crossover? Probably a bit of marketing jargon. When I was growing up, my parents tuned the radio to Easy Listening stations, which was an early name for the phenomenon. The music was tuneful, sometimes schmaltzy - gently pleasing, generally undemanding to the ear, and often rooted in classical compositions. For fun or for money, classical singers could be heard singing popular songs - Mario Lanza in the 1950's, for example - and audiences ate it up. In many ways it was a win-win arrangement, but still displeased purists who preferred the clean beauty of a fine vocal instrument to be unsullied by popular stylism.
Therein lies the genesis of the debate. Is high art compromised by popular taste? Is a performer of rare skill lessened by "pandering" to the public just to make money? Who is running the show - a small enclave of music producers and marketers bent on material success, or devotees of great artistic endeavor? With the emergence of terms like Popera and Popsical, one might wonder. Commercial interests naturally drive much that happens in the world; so be it. The mysterious energy that drives us to seek beyond the normal confines of our existence is, and always will be, priceless.
Ultimately, the purist is entitled to cherish the intellectually and spiritually satisfying art he or she champions. The savvy marketer is bound to bend genres and cross categories to make a buck. The gifted musician should be free to express versatility and share his or her talent to please a variety of audiences. It's good to consider these questions, fan the fire of debate now and then, and make individual choices. The important thing is what floats your boat.
Poperetta, anyone? 

From your Opera Guild 

Please consider the Opera Guild of Rochester among your charitable organizations for 2015. Donations to the Opera Guild of Rochester are fully tax deductible and donors will receive an invitation to a free Annual Recital in May 2016, which is our gift to our donors, followed by dessert reception with the artists.

Enjoy our free Lecture/Listening series, which you can download from the web site at by clicking on Reading Room. While at our Website you can also learn about our opera program at Temple B'rith Kodesh, our opera trips to regional opera companies including the Glimmerglass Festival, and our Metropolitan Opera trips.

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Submission deadline for the next issue is the 15th of the previous month