Tempo in Brief: 10.29.10

Friday, October 29

Ain't no party like a Tempo party, 'cause a Tempo party don't stop. Tempo's Opera Night Out Masquerade Ball was a Vita.mn top Halloween pick. - Vita.mn

Want an excuse to wear your fabulous mask more than once? TONIGHT: check out Masquerade, an art opening featuring work by Nicholas Harper. - Rogue Buddha Gallery

Need some last minute inspiration for your mask? l'etoile's got you covered. - l'etoile magazine blog

Need even more inspiration? Tempo's got you covered too. - Tempo Blog

Cinderella, Cinderella, All I hear is Cinderella. A lil' preview from Rochester's Post-Bulletin. - Post-Bulletin

Cinderelly, Cinderelly, Night and day it's Cinderelly. A longer preview preview of our very own. - Tempo Blog

Aschenbrödel / Aschenputtel / Cendrillon / Cenerentola / Cenicienta. She goes by many names, but you know the story. Everyone's talking about it, including Kate Iverson (Tempo Board member and all-around fabulous gal). - the651.com
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Cinderella Sneak Preview

You're in for a treat. We've got a guest blogger today - Joshua Dorothy (Tempo's board chair, remember him?)

So much can get done in so little time.

Tempo connects 20- and 30-somethings to Minnesota Opera. It seeks to grow the next generation of operagoers. I spent tonight with the next “next generation” of operagoers. Today’s teens and tweens will be Tempo eligible before we know it, and I’m thankful they’ll be interested in opera in good numbers.

The Opera invited students to tonight’s final dress rehearsal for Cinderella, and a few members of the Tempo board attended in hopes of recruiting some college students. We weren’t as successful as we might have hoped, since the students were predominantly of high-school age or younger. Which was hilarious during the “wine cellar” scene. (When you see it . . . you’ll get it.)

This production has come together quickly. The rehearsal process started on October 5, not even two days after the final curtain went down on Orpheus and Eurydice. To go from meet-and-greet to final-dress in 23 days is a feat in itself. The quality of what you will see on the Ordway stage (25 days total to opening night, and 33 days to closing) makes it nearly impossible to believe.
What’s even more astonishing is how much time went into perfecting each detail. I had the opportunity to spend an hour at a staging rehearsal on October 19. In one hour, I saw four choreographed sequences rehearsed and refined. That’s an average of 15 minutes on each sequence. Tonight, each went by in less than ten seconds.

Extrapolating backward for the entire production . . . is staggering. There can’t have been time. But there was. Or maybe someone worked a little magic. (Alidoro has a few more tricks up his sleeve, yes?)

There are people far better at providing a review than I. So I won’t even try. But let me tantalize you with some highlights to watch for on opening night:

Alidoro. The philosopher and tutor to Don Ramiro (a.k.a. “Prince Charming”) is fantastically debonair. Daniel Mobbs is a delight to watch.

Clorinda and Tisbe. These are the wicked stepsisters, portrayed by Resident Artists Angela Mortellaro and Victoria Vargas, respectively. Angie has an amazing pout, and fully embodies the slightly ditzy and very -- VERY -- spoiled-brattish Clorinda. Together, they reinforce my no-longer-secret suspicion that, every year, our mezzo and soprano resident artists forge a sisterly bond that alternates between the occasional feud between themselves and a constant fierce loyalty to each other and against the world.

The gentlemen in waiting. Also known as the chorus, these 16 men perform their hearts out for our director, Doug Varone. The choreography is at its best with them. They move in unison, with nearly military precision. (Come to think of it, I may have to ask Doug if he thinks military units move with near-dance-corps precision.) Rossini’s music often “tells” the audience where to clap, but even the master couldn’t anticipate Doug. Tonight’s audience interrupted the orchestra to cheer the chorus after a truly delightful sequence involving umbrellas.

Cinderella. Roxana is . . . oh so charming. You should fall in love with her from the start. Even the most cold-hearted can’t help but fall under her spell during Alidoro’s aria “LĂ  del ciel nell'arcano profondo.” She has such joy and serenity, it emanates from her and practically lights the theatre. This is her debut on the American opera stage. Mark my words: people will envy you in a few years, when you can say you saw her in this production.


10 Questions with Clinton Smith

Monday, October 25

Meet Clinton Smith, Resident Artist (assistant conductor)

1. What is your sign?
Capricorn - a big one

2. What is your favorite opera?
Too early to tell - I've only worked on/conducted around thirty operas, so there are so many more to discover.

3. If you could have any other job in the world, what would it be?
Good question - I used to be a huge computer nerd, in fact, I applied to nine schools as a computer science major, but changed my major to Piano at orientation, much to my father's horror.

4. What is your favorite dessert?
Apple pie

5. If you had to describe yourself using three words, what would they be?
Musical, Resourceful, and Dedicated

6. What is your favorite holiday?

7. What was your first opera?
The first opera I bought on CD is kind of obscure - it's the Phillips recording of Mozart's Il Re Pastore - I was captivated, and this was years before I actually saw my first opera. That happened to be Aida at the Met when I was in NYC with my high school orchestra in April of 1998 playing at Carnegie Hall.

8. If they made a movie of your life, what would it be about and which actor would you want to play you?
The movie could be about pursuing a dream, making opportunities for oneself, never giving up, and finding your passion.

9. Are you a morning or night person?
Definitely a night person - my whole family is. When we get together it's not abnormal for us to all stay up, grandma included, until well after 2am drinking and talking.

10. What’s your favorite thing to do in the winter?
Stay warm! I'm from the beach in Texas - it gets COLD here.


Life's a Masquerade!

Tuesday, October 19

Cinderella's Masquerade Ball is right around the corner - are you ready? Do you have a costume? Okay, maybe not a full fledged costume, but how about a mask? It is, after all, a masquerade ball.

If you don't have anything yet, no worries. There's still penty of time. You can peruse the selection at Twin Cities Costume & Magic Shop in St. Paul and pick out something fabulous or you can make your own mask.

We know what you're thinking. We were thinking it too. What? Arts and crafts? How? When? Well, here comes l'etoile to the rescue! They provide a fabulous step by step guide to making a masquerade mask. 

to this:
Fabulous, no? Can't wait to see this gorgeous mask at the party. We were so inspired that we took a shot at the whole mask making thing. First, a little internet research for inspiration (a Google search for "venetian masks" turns up lots fun photos). A quick trip to Michaels. Then, we made a few masks. No leaves for us - some paint (black, gold, and a little glitter), some gems, a few feathers, even some butterflies. Check it out:
We're pretty impressed with ourselves. And we're definitely looking forward to the Ball. See you there!

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The Stupendous One

Monday, October 11

On Sunday, October 10, opera lost one of its legends: Joan Sutherland. Ms. Sutherland was one of the most acclaimed sopranos of the 20th century. It's the end of an era. She will be missed.

It was Italy’s notoriously picky critics who dubbed the Australian-born Ms. Sutherland the Stupendous One after her Italian debut, in Venice in 1960. And for 40 years the name endured with opera lovers around the world. Her 1961 debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor,” generated so much excitement that standees began lining up at 7:30 that morning. Her singing of the Mad Scene drew a thunderous 12-minute ovation.
- The New York Times

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Corsets & Period Costumes

Tuesday, October 5

With Halloween just around the corner, some of you gals (and guys) may be busting out your corsets and period costumes for fabulous Halloween soirees.* How do you breath and move in those suckers? Best to ask an expert. The Podium chatted with Kelly Kaduce and got some "Diva Tricks of the Trade." 

Here are some of the things that stood out to us:
  • Corsets - practice, breath, and leave a little room (seriously, you don't want to pass out!)
  • Long trains - walk in little circles, backwards is not your friend
  • Potty breaks - ladies, you may need to rethink your point of view
  • Walking - short steps, make 'em wait for you
Kelly clearly has experience singing while wearing corsets, heavy gowns, and uber long trains (maybe all at the same time). We plan on taking her advice - if we ever have to cinch ourselves into a corset. On second thought, maybe we'll leave all the fancy costumes to the experts. Kelly and all her fabulousness will be back in Minnesota this spring as Catherine Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights. Do you have your tickets yet?

*Speaking of fabulous Halloween soirees, mark your calendars for the Masquerade Ball after Cinderella. It's not to be missed!


Tempo in Brief: 10.1.10

Friday, October 1

A little opera, a little fashion, a little gossip, a lot of cheekiness. We like! - Opera Chic

Are you going to see Renee Fleming on October 7th at the Schubert Club? If so, you should join Tempo after the performance for a reception at Kincaid's! Appetizers provided and drink specials available. RSVP to tempo@mnopera.org by October 4th if you plan to attend. - The Schubert Club

Speaking of Renee Fleming, Opera Chic thinks she's one of the 5 best dressed opera singers. "Renee is the Highlander of Opera: In the end there can only be one. Get used to it." That's some high praise. - W Magazine

So far you've met Joshua Dorothy, Nadege Souvenir, and Victoria Vargas. Wonder who'll be next? - 10 Questions with Tempo

Tempo is looking forward to The Salon Series: Once Upon a Time at the Opera. We hope to see you there. - Minnesota Opera

Gotta love those Barihunks! Especially when they will be performing at the Minnesota Opera this season. - Barihunks


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