Click below to visit the archive of introductory podcasts hosted by Nicolas Reveles. These brief ‘conversations’ can be enjoyed by opera fans as well as those who are new to the art form. Informal yet informative, this is a great way to prepare to come see the operas during our season.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Putting DON PASQUALE in Context

Continuing with our series on the historical/cultural contexts for our 2012 operas, Nicolas Reveles talks about Donizetti's brilliant comedy Don Pasquale, giving you an idea how old Italian theatrical traditions informed the plot and its characters, as well as how lots of current Hollywood and television properties still revere those old traditions. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Putting The Barber of Seville in Context

Continuing with our series (placing our 4 operas in historical and cultural context), here is a look at The Barber of Seville and its roots in the Italian commedia dell'arte tradition. Now that sounds pretty esoteric, right? But no, it has a lot to do with the plot and characters in the Rossini opera and, when you come to think about it, has a lot to do with what passes as nightly entertainment on our multitudinous television networks! (Think situation comedies!) Nicolas Reveles explains it all to you! Enjoy.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Putting MOBY-DICK in Context

Our series continues, putting the four opera productions of 2012 into a historical and cultural context. For the Jake Heggie & Gene Scheer opera Moby-Dick, the context is obvious: 19th century whaling and its influence on the writing of Herman Melville's epic novel which was first published in 1851. Let Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, explain it all to you!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Putting SALOME in Context

Beginning this week, we'll put all four of our opera productions for 2012 in context of both the eras in which they were originally produced as well as in context of the time and place of their stories. Salome, for instance, is set in first-century Galilee, but the opera has much more to say about the time during which it was written, at the turn of the 20th century. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, explains it all to you!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How to Follow Salome: Leitmotivs and That Sort of Thing...

Dr. Nick explains it all to you: like most German operas written after the extraordinary career of Richard Wagner, Strauss used a leitmotiv system to unify his opera Salome. It's easy to follow and can be quite fun once you get your ears tuned to them. Watch listen and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Overtures, Preludes and 'Let's Get This Party Started'!

Think about it...different operas demand different beginnings. Composers from Handel to Heggie have come up with myriad ways to open their operas...with overtures, preludes or, quite frankly, almost nothing at all! San Diego Opera's 2012 Season offers an object lesson on this subject and shows that the variety of solutions is always fascinating. Watch and listen to Nicolas Reveles, the Education and Outreach Director of San Diego Opera, talk about these "opening statements".

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Going to the Opera: A Reality Check

Why go to the opera? Especially in this time of economic hardship, we want our entertainmet dollars to go a long way and opera is no exception: we who are passionate about it have no problem spending money on it. But we don't want to (nor are all of us capable) spend an arm and a leg on it. Watch Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach grapple with this issue and suggest ways to make it less expensive for true opera lovers!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

SALOME: On The Precipice

Richard Strauss's opera Salome was written during a cultural, artistic ferment that eventually gave way to the expressionism movement in Germany and Austria. Watch and listen to Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, illuminate for you the special sound-world of this unique opera!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Using Your Ears at the Opera: Rosina in The Barber of Seville

Composers like Rossini wrote their operas for specific singers, often waiting until actual rehearsals to finish the music so that the arias and ensembles could be tailored to that singer's particular gifts. Such was the case for Rosina, the heroine in The Barber of Seville. Listen to Nicolas Reveles, The Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera talk about how important it is to match the personality of the VOICE with the personality of the CHARACTER in opera.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Donizetti, Don Pasquale and "bel canto"

For our very first video podcast episode, here's a brief discussion by Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, of bel canto, Donizetti, Chopin (!) and Don Pasquale. Watch and listen, especially to the first part of Norina's aria "Quel guardo il cavaliere", a wonderful example of the bel canto style. Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Male Chorus in "Moby-Dick"

Among the unique features of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's opera Moby-Dick is the use of an all-male chorus. That's to be expected, of course, since the story is set entirely at sea on the Pequod, a whaling ship out of Nantucket. The only female voice in the opera is the role of Pip, the cabin boy, which is sung by a soprano. It turns out that there's an interesting tradition of the use of the male chorus in opera. Listen in as our Director of Education, Nicolas Reveles, explores this interesting vocal 'color' in Moby-Dick and other great works.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In Memoriam: Salvatore Licitra

Tenor Salvatore Licitra died this past weekend at the age of 43 from complications due to a motorscooter accident as well as a possible cerebral hemorrhage. The opera world mourns his passing, as do we here at San Diego Opera where he was due to make his role debut as Don Jose in Bizet's Carmen (a contract he had to cancel due to a back injury) and his appearance as Radames in our 2013 season closer, Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. Join Nicolas Reveles, Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, for a collection of excerpts from some of his wonderful opera recordings.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Casting the Role of Salome

What do you have to keep in mind if you're and opera director and you're considering a soprano for the role of Salome? Well, quite a bit actually, according to Geisel Director of Education and Outreach Nicolas Reveles. Listen in as we discuss the role's musical and physical demands, and hear the final monologue of Strauss's opera with Cheryl Studer in the title role, Giuseppe Sinopoli conducting the Deutsche Oper Berlin Orchestra. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Perfect 'Opera buffa', "The Barber of Seville"

Last week this podcast reviewed some of the commedia roots of Donizetti's Don Pasquale. This week Education Director Nicolas Reveles does the same thing for Rossini's Barber of Seville, the quintessential opera buffa or comic opera. Enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Don Pasquale" and Opera Buffa

We finish our 2012 International Season with two wonderful Italian comic operas, The Barber of Seville by Rossini and Don Pasquale by Donizetti. Let's spend a couple of weeks looking at the influences that created the form we call opera buffa and spend some time with their comic characters. Today, Norina, the star of Don Pasquale, and her delightful entrance aria.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Role of Captain Ahab in "Moby-Dick"

You've got to be sure that one of the first things Jake Heggie did when he sat down to compose Moby-Dick to Gene Scheer's wonderful libretto was that he had to decide what voice-type Captain Ahab was. The choice he made? Heldentenor! You might find that to be an odd choice, or a fortuitous one. You decide, but after you listen to Dr. Nicolas Reveles's podcast this week!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Musical Imagery and Atmosphere in Strauss's "Salome"

The orchestra is a very active participant in Strauss's Salome, detailing the stage action at every moment in the drama. Just what is it that makes this work so well in the operas of Strauss? Take a listen to Dr. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, as he analyzes three important characters in the opera: Jokanaan (John the Baptist), Herod and Salome herself.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Great Recordings of "The Barber of Seville"

There are 30 to 40 recordings of Rossini's great opera, The Barber of Seville (Il barbiere di Siviglia). How does one choose? Let Dr. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera give you a few suggestions. Along the way you'll hear some of the more significant excerpts from this delightful comic opera!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Great Recordings of "Don Pasquale"

Dr. Nicolas Reveles, Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, chooses three recordings of Donizetti's comic masterpiece Don Pasquale to help you get to know the opera (with a little help from Beverly Sills, Alfredo Kraus, Gabriel Bacquier and Fernando Corena!)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Meet Jake Heggie, Composer of Moby-Dick

One of the most exciting things to happen on the cultural landscape of San Diego next season is the West Coast premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's opera Moby-Dick. In this podcast hosted by Nicolas Reveles we'll experience some of the earlier music of composer Heggie, including a couple of art songs and excerpts from Dead Man Walking, his first opera, commissioned by San Francisco Opera. You'll easily hear that this composer's music is readily accessible and melodic, with a dramatic & theatrical sense that attracts audiences of all ages!

Friday, July 1, 2011

NEW! The San Diego Opera 2012 Podcasts Begin!

Great Recordings of Salome: From Birgit Nilsson to Inge Nielson, from Georg Solti to Giuseppe Sinopoli, there have been terrific recordings of Richard Strauss's thrilling opera based on the play by Oscar Wilde. Let's explore a few of them; maybe there's one that will capture your interest during this survey that you'll want to download to your MP3 player or order from your favorite online store.

Monday, May 16, 2011

San Diego Opera's 2012 International Season Preview

It's that time again: the announcement of our new season! This special podcast includes audio clips from the operas Salome by Richard Strauss, Moby-Dick by Jake Heggie, Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti and The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini. With commentary by Dr. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, this hour-long podcast will fill you in on some of the music and the great singing that we have to look forward to next year. Enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Der Rosenkavalier: The Marschallin's Monologue

One of the most poignant moments in the score of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier comes towards the end of Act I, the Marschallin's Monologue, "Da geht er hin". Let's explore what makes this monologue so reflective of the experience of being human, aging against our will, and having to watch it happen day by day in our bathroom mirrors. Strauss gets it!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Revisiting the Leitmotifs in Der Rosenkavalier

The leitmotifs or "leading motives" in Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier are explored by our Education Director, Nicolas Reveles, in a podcast first posted on August 16, 2010. After defining the leitmotif and its use by Richard Wagner, we'll listen to those used by Strauss to help tell the story of this wonderful opera.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Best Of...Famous Turandots on Record

Luckily for us, Puccini's opera Turandot premiered in 1926, well after the invention of sound recording.  So even though we don't have a recording of excerpts from the opera by the two principals (soprano Rosa Raisa and Miguel Fleta), we do have recordings of some of the sopranos who made history in the role.  Let's survey a handful of those sopranos and see if we can get a good sound picture of what Puccini might have expected for the role. Take a listen to this repeat of a popular podcast from June 14, 2010.

Friday, January 21, 2011

An Interview with Liu: Soprano, Ermonela Jaho

Listen in to a revealing interview with soprano Ermonela Jaho who will be singing the role of Liu in Turandot. The Albanian singer made her debut with San Diego Opera in Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, standing in for an ailing colleague on opening night. Now she's back, singing the entire run of course, and delighted to be in San Diego!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An Interview with Lise Lindstrom, our Turandot

Dr. Nic spends some time with the wonderful and lovely young soprano Lise Lindstrom who will make her San Diego Opera debut in the challenging role of Turandot. The conversation traverses her recent triumph in the role at the Metropolitan opera as a last-minute replacement and a discussion of the vocal challenges in the aria "In questa reggia".  Listen in!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tenor Carlo Ventre: An Interview about Calaf

And so we begin with a new element in our San Diego Opera podcasts: interviews with some of the personalities involved with our 2011 productions.  Let's begin with a chat with tenor Carlo Ventre, who will be singing the role of Calaf in Puccini's Turandot, opening January 29.  In this interview with Nicolas Reveles, Ventre reveals the challenges of the role as well as the physical sensation he experiences in performing great tenor roles like Calaf on stage in front of a large audience.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

San Diego Opera's 2011 Season: The "Golden Moments"

Well, folks, it's here: 2011, and we open our season in four weeks!  Let's take some time to survey the wonderful musical and vocal pleasures that we're about to enjoy in Puccini's Turandot, Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, Gounod's Faust and Bizet's Carmen.