In order to help you better appreciate our operas, our Community Engagement program presents this series 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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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Voice Types of the Season 2014: The Tenors

Tenors, like sopranos, mezzos and basses, come in all types each with their distinctive characteristics. Today we'll introduce you to the lyric, spinto and dramatic voices within the tenor category who'll grace the stage of San Diego Opera this season: Nemorino, Gustavo and Canio. Education Director Nicolas Reveles does the honors. Enjoy!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Voice Types of the Season: Basses and Baritones

In a continuation of our series on voice types in the 2014 Season, we focus on the basses and baritones with roles like Dr. Dulcamara, Don Quixote, Silvio, Tonio and Anckarstom. Listen to the differences between lyric voices and voices more suited to the big, dramatic roles. Dr. Nicolas Reveles, Education Director for San Diego Opera, tells it all.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

What is a Requiem?

On March 20, 2014, San Diego Opera will present Verdi's Requiem with a cast of soloists that would rival any opera or symphonic organization in the world: Stoyanova, Blythe, Beczala And Furlanetto. Massimo Zanetti will conduct the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera Chorus plus members of other choral organizations in the city. This is a very special event, but we have audiences wondering: just what is a Requiem? Let Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach fill you in! Enjoy.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Voice Types of the Season: The Women

Did you know that there are many sub-categories within the standard soprano/mezzo/tenor/baritone/bass voice types? And we have many of them on display this coming season, 2014! Watch and listen as Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, surveys the women of the season; and watch for the next installment on the men!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Music of the Season: Don Quixote

Jules Massenet was a master of scene setting. Just as a scenic designer is responsible for coming up with a theatrical set that matches the location, mood and era of the drama, a composer must do much the same thing, using musical elements as his building blocks. Watch Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach describe how this French master 'paints' the story of Don Quixote through his brilliant music. 


Monday, October 7, 2013

Music of the Season: A Masked Ball

Gershwin's famous Tin Pan Alley tune, "I've Got Rhythm" came to mind during the production of this podcast, because Verdi's A Masked Ball (Un ballo in maschera) is ALL about rhythm and how rhythmic choices help to hone in on the personalities and emotions of the characters in this wonderful opera. Join Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for an unusual look at one of the masterpieces of the great Giuseppe Verdi, who turns 200 this week!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Music of the Season: The Elixir of Love

Bel canto is a much misunderstood operatic/vocal term. If you're not familiar with the term, you're in luck because today's podcast will help define its meaning. Donizetti, for instance, is considered a bel canto composer; but what does that really mean? Is it just a musical term or does it perhaps have something to do with the text of an opera, it's poetry? Let Dr. Nicolas Reveles, The Geisel Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera, explain it all to you!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Music of the Season: Pagliacci

In a podcast focusing on the music of Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo, Nicolas Reveles, The Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, shows how opera communicates dramatic moments, atmosphere, the emotions of the characters, even the physical environment within which the characters find themselves. A 'must see' for audience members new to opera or those who want to deepen their experience!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Don Quixote: A French 'Take' On Spanish Style!

How is it that some of the most beautiful and rhythmically infectious 'Spanish' music is by French composers? Think of Bizet's Carmen! Massenet pulls off a similar trick in his beautiful opera Don Quichotte, or Don Quixote. Watch and listen as Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera, takes you through it. Enjoy!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Royalty, Political Intrigue and Forbidden Love!

Verdi is at his best when he's dealing with politics and passion. Throw in a very true historical story (the assassination of Gustav III of Sweden at a masked opera ball in 1792) and you have the makings of terrific opera. Watch and listen as Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera takes you through the historical background of this great work, A Masked Ball.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Elixir: Donizetti's RomCom!

The Elixir of Love could well be considered Gaetano Donizetti's ultimate romantic comedy and Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera makes that point (and more!) in this delightful look at San Diego Opera's second offering for the 2014 Season. Enjoy!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Pagliacci: A Verismo Horror Story

Pagliacci is a terrific piece of musical theatre: exciting, dramatic, suspenseful and overpowering. One can make more than a few connections between the verismo style of this opera and the world of cinema, especially the films of Alfred Hitchcock and giallo specialists like Bava and Argento. Let's have a little fun with those connections as Dr. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera discusses some of his favorite things!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Opera 101: Homework?!!

"Homework??", you exclaim, "I didn't sign up for that!" No, you didn't. But Geisel Director of Education and Outreach Nicolas Reveles would like to talk about homework and its place in preparing to see an opera you might not know. Used to be we had to go through all sorts of contortions to go to the opera and understand what we were seeing & hearing because we didn't understand the languages being used. Now, of course, we have the amazing convenience of supertitles. But you can go 'deeper' than simply being able to know what the singers are singing about...


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Opera 101: How do you say "I Love You" in music?

In a kind of expansion of our last episode of Opera 101, let's explore what all those operatic duets (or at least, most of them) are about: Love! Luckily, love is a major theme in all four of the operas that we're presenting in our 2014 Season: The Elixir of (naturally) Love, Pagliacci, A Masked Ball and Don Quixote. Dr. Nicolas Reveles, The Geisel Driector of Education and Outreach, discusses how our four different composers...Leoncavallo, Donizetti, Massenet and Verdi...approach love in four very different ways musically. Enjoy!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Opera 101: The Duet

The duet may seem to be a pretty simple musical form featured in opera that really doesn't need any explanation, right? But there's a little more to it than just "this person sings, then that person sings, then they sing together!" Dr. Nic Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera, lets you in on what kinds of duets exist in opera and how they communicate the feelings of the characters using the love duet from Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, A Masked Ball. Enjoy!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Opera 101: "I've Heard This Before!"

Whenever an opera company prepares to do an important work from the standard repertoire (like Pagliacci for instance) we hear the complaint, "Oh, I've heard (or seen) that opera before. I think I'll pass this time." But WAIT:approaches to the standard rep can be very different, depending entirely on the artistic team that's put together by the management. Let Dr. Nic, our Director of Education and Outreach, explore this issue with you and listen, through examples from Leoncavallo's great opera, how different the same music can sound coming from different singers. Sometimes, the difference is radical!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Opera 101, #3: What Is An Aria?

Continuing our 'summer school series' on opera basics, today we explore the aria, moving very quickly from Monteverdi's L'Orfeo to Verdi's A Masked Ball (Un ballo in maschera). Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera explains it all for you in a fun and informative way. Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Opera 101: Words & Music

Continuing our Summer School for Opera Fans, Dr. Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, gives us more information on the intimate connection between two of opera's most potent elements...the words and the music! With generous examples from our first opera for the 2014 season, Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, Dr. Nic tries to help you make the connection between what the characters are communicating through their words and what we actually hear in the music!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Opera 101: Summer School for Opera Fans

At the end of this week we'll be celebrating the beginning of summer, 2013, and we'll begin getting ready for our exciting 2014 International Season! What better way to do that then to have a few podcasts dedicated to a 'refresher' course in opera? Today Nicolas Reveles, our Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera takes a look at the essence of the art form, how composers approach a dramatic idea and "musicalize" it. We'll explore the connection between what we see on the stage and what we hear from the wonderful music that these composers create. Enjoy!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The International Season 2014: An Overview

Join the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, Nicolas Reveles, in a brief exploration of the 2014 from Pagliacci to Don Quixote, The Elixir of Love to A Masked Ball with a dollop of Verdi's Requiem thrown in to the mix. This exciting season has something for everyone, as you'll discover. For each opera Dr. Reveles gives us some of his own personal reasons for looking forward to each of these great masterworks. Enjoy!


Friday, April 19, 2013

The 'Look' of Aida: An Interview with Zandra Rhodes

San Diego Opera's exciting production of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida opens this Saturday night, April 20, and one thing we can say about it: it's not your grandma's Aida! Internationally renowned fasion designer Zandra Rhodes has created this production (sets as well as costumes) and it's a visually stunning, indeed delightful version of this evergreen classic with colors and shapes inspired by ancient Egypt. Join Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education & Outreach, as we explore Zandra's inspiration for this wonderful opera. 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An Interview with Maestro Daniele Callegari

Meet Daniele Callegari, a San Diego Opera debut artist who hails from Milan and lives in Barcelona! He has taken the company by storm with his energy, his enthusiasm for music and opera, as well as his positive presence in rehearsals for Verdi's Aida. Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach, has a conversation with him about this wonderful opera and what draws it to him again and again. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

Meeting Amneris: An Interview with Mezzo-Soprano Jill Grove

We all know and love Verdi's great opera Aida. We thought it might be informative for our podcast audience to hear a different 'take' on our production of this wonderful opera to ask mezzo-soprano Jill Grove, our Amneris, about the current state of the opera business. What's it like for singers out there right now? How is the HD operas-at-the-movies effort effecting regional companies? What's it like to be involved in the opera business today? Jill offers her thoughts on these and other subjects in this interview with Nicolas Reveles, the Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera. Enjoy!


Monday, April 8, 2013

An Interview with Amonasro: Bass-Baritone Mark S. Doss

We're welcoming back bass-baritone Mark S. Doss after a rather lengthy hiatus: he was last here as Friar Lawrence in Gounod's Romeo and Juliet in 1998. He has since established himself as one of the most exciting Escamillos (Carmen), Mephistopheles (Faust) and Amonasros (Aida) in the world. Watch and listen as Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera discusses his career and the role of Amonasro with this wonderful artist. 


Friday, April 5, 2013

An Interview with Aida: Latonia Moore

We have long awaited the arrival of soprano Latonia Moore (pronounced lah-TAH-nee-yah) since her dramatic debut at the Metropolitan Opera a few years back in the role of Aida. Her performance made front page news in the New York Times and was feted throughout the opera world as being one of the most auspicious debuts in recent Met history. She's delightfully open and forthcoming about that exciting moment and about all things vocal and dramatic in her conversation here with Education Director Nicolas Reveles. 


Friday, March 29, 2013

The Music of Murder!

We're hearing lots of folks wondering what the music of Murder in the Cathedral is like. We suspect that they might be just a bit fearful that it may be off-putting or that it sounds like some of those "other" pieces of music from the mid-twentieth century that were so tough on audiences. Fear not! Dr. Nic is here to help you! Watch and listen as he tackles this important subject in a short eleven-minute podcast. Share with your friends! 


Thursday, March 21, 2013

An Interview with Ferruccio Furlanetto

We're always honored and delighted to have the return to San Diego Opera of one of the world's greatest singers, bass Ferruccio Furlanetto. This season he sings, for the first time in the U.S., the role of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Ildebrando Pizzetti's Murder in the Cathedral, a role that he thinks compares to the other great roles for bass: Boris, Philip in Don Carlo, Don Quixote. In this wide-ranging conversation with Nicolas Reveles, Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, he talks about this neglected opera and the challenges of the role.


Monday, March 18, 2013

An Interview with Maestro Donato Renzetti

Conducting for San Diego Opera for the first time is Maestro Donato Renzetti, the wonderful Italian conductor who led the La Scala forces for a revival of Pizzetti's Murder in the Cathedral with Ferruccio Furlanetto a couple of years ago. He comes to us, then, with unique experience of the work. As well, as you'll hear in this interview, he studied conducting with Gianandrea Gavazzeni, the original conductor of the La Scala orchestra, chorus and soloists at the premiere of the work in 1958. Enjoy this delightful conversation with a marvelous new friend of San Diego Opera!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

An Interview with Soprano, Susan Neves

Is it a "star turn" or a "dubious distinction" to be cast as the First Chorister in Pizzetti's Murder in the Cathedral? Well, however ungracious the name of the character, the music for her is wonderful and she's in the unique position of having the only full aria in the opera. So according to Susan Neves (an Abigaille, Norma, Turandot and Lady Macbeth with stunning qualifications!), this role is a remarkable opportunity to stake claim to an unusual piece of the operatic repertoire. Watch and listen to her delightful conversation with Education Director Nicolas Reveles.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mariachi! An interview with Jeff Nevin

As we look forward to next week's performances of Cruzar la cara de la luna, the first-ever mariachi opera by Jose 'Pepe' Martinez, it's time to get more familiar with mariachi as a musical form. Just what is mariachi, what are its roots, how has it developed and what has it to do with opera? Professor of Mariachi Studies at Southwestern College, classical and mariachi trumpet player Jeff Nevin has some answers for us and we think you'll find entertaining and interesting. Join Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for this wonderful conversation.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Murder in the Cathedral: An Interview with Ian Campbell

The opera Murder in the Cathedral by Ildebrando Pizzetti is unknown to most of our audience members so here's an opportunity to fix that! Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera interviews General & Artistic Director Ian Campbell about why he chose this unusual work for staging and what he expects to do with it as the stage director of the work which goes up on our stage March 30. There's lots of information here, especially designed for those of you who have questions about this wonderful opera!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

An Interview with Samson: tenor, Clifton Forbis

Heldentenor Clifton Forbis has been here before: as Samson in our last go 'round with the opera in 2007. But he's as fresh as ever, fun to be with, exciting to watch and hear, and delightful to chat with. Join Director of Education and Outreach Nicolas Reveles in an interview with this international opera star.


Monday, February 11, 2013

An Interview with Anooshah Golesorkhi

Welcome to 'old home week', or alumni day as we're calling it! Anooshah Golesorkhi, baritone, is making his debut with San Diego Opera as the High Priest of Dagon in Samson and Delilah which opens this week. But many local folks remember him as an undergraduate student at USD and graduate student at SDSU. As Dr. Nicolas Reveles, Director of Education and Outreach explains, Anooshah was being trained as a young voice student when Dr. Reveles began teaching at USD, so many memories are shared as well as the excitement of a locally schooled baritone who's making an international career as an opera singer! He also shares how he got his start in the business through a rather roundabout gateway...enjoy! 


Thursday, February 7, 2013

An Interview with Karen Keltner

In a wide-ranging interview with Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, our resident conductor Karen Keltner discusses the music of Samson and Delilah, our exciting next production. The Saint-Saens' sensitivity to the Hebrews as well as his touches of exoticism in the score are discussed, as well as the overall spectacular effect of this French 'grand opera'. Enjoy!


Monday, February 4, 2013

An Interview with Delilah: Nadia Krasteva

The beautiful Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Nadia Krasteva is making her company debut with us in the role of Dalilah in our upcoming production of Samson and Delilah. Nadia has already impressed the company with her good nature, delightful sense of humor and fantastic (and seductive!) voice. Join Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for a fun interview with this terrific new artist.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An Interview with Yves Abel

Franco-Canadian conductor Yves Abel is our maestro for the first opera in our 2013 Season, The Daughter of the Regiment. In this free flowing conversation with Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for San Diego Opera, he shares his background, information on his studies in New York and his career. This exciting young conductor has wonderful ideas about music, conducting and theatre. Tune in!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

An Interview with Tenor, Stephen Costello

In past seasons tenor, Stephen Costello has appeared on the San Diego Opera stage in the serious roles of Faust and Romeo in Gounod's two masterworks. Opening January 26, he takes on comedy in the role of Tonio in The Daughter of the Regiment for the first time. In this interview Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education & Outreach, talks to Costello about his career and how he's approaching this challenging comic character.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Basses and Baritones in the 2013 Season

From Thomas Becket to Sergeant Sulpice, from Amonasro to the High Priest of Dagon, we have a parade of exciting lower voices coming to you this season. Watch and listen as Nicolas Reveles, The Geisel Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera, reveals it all to you!