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Dead Man Walking

2700 F St.: Washington National Opera: Dead Man Walking
Dead Man Walking was inspired by the writings of Sister Helen Prejean, an author and activist whose accounts of her interactions with death row inmates provided the basis for an award-winning film in 1995.
Opera, Controversial

Madam Butterfly

2700 F St.: Washington National Opera: Madame Butterfly
Madame Butterfly is a story of East meets West. Many of its characters get into serious and irreversible trouble when they fail (or refuse) to understand the differences between Japanese and American cultures.
Opera, Tragedy, Japan

WNO The Marriage of Figaro - Amanda Majeski as The Countess - photo by Todd Rosenberg

2700 F St.: Washington National Opera's The Marriage of Figaro
This is a story about one happy couple that just wants to get married and one unhappy couple that’s already married… and not doing so well.
Opera, Composers, Music, Music Legends, Europe

Washington National Opera: Daughter of the Regiment

2700 F St.: Washington National Opera: Daughter of the Regiment
Young and beautiful Marie was found as a baby near a French regiment camp. And today she lives her life as the regiment’s resident mascot, singing songs and boosting morale wherever she goes.
Opera, Europe, Comedy

Lost In The Stars

Cuesheet: WNO Open Rehearsal: Lost in the Stars
World War II has ended and South Africa begins to separate white and black communities—with painful and violent results. Are love, faith, and truth enough to bring peace to these divided people? Two fathers search for the answer.
Opera, Backstage, Africa

Carmen; Opera Look-In

Cuesheet: WNO Look-In: Carmen
This narrated program includes fully staged scenes from WNO’s production. The creative team and technicians also take students behind-the-scenes for demonstrations of technical special effects, scene changes, costumes, and more!
Opera, Backstage, Folklore

Hansel & Gretel: WNO Open Rehearsal

Cuesheet: WNO Open Rehearsal: Hansel and Gretel
In this operatic forest, magic and adventure lurk around every corner—and holiday sweets can have a nasty bite. Complete with a cackling witch, enchanted fairies, dancing animals, and an oversized gingerbread oven, this timeless tale comes to life on stage in this whimsical, neon-colored production.
Opera, Backstage, Folklore

Appomattox

Cuesheet: WNO Open Rehearsal: Appomattox
Can prejudice still exisit after 100 years? Find out as two key moments in history collide on the operatic stage.
Opera, Backstage, History, America

WNO Opera Look-in: The Marriage of Figaro

Cuesheet: WNO Look-In: The Marriage of Figaro
Theater, music, and dance come together in this introduction to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, one of the world’s most popular operas.
Opera, Backstage, Europe

Washington National Opera: The Flying Dutchman

Cuesheet: WNO Working Rehearsal: The Flying Dutchman
Wagner’s retelling of a nautical legend is one of opera’s best-loved tales of horror on the high seas. The Flying Dutchman—the cursed captain of a ghostly ship—is condemned to roam the seas forever unless, on the one day he is allowed to come ashore, he can be redeemed through a woman’s unconditional love.
Opera, Backstage

Cinderella: WNO Dress Rehearsal

Cuesheet: WNO Working Rehearsal: Cinderella
Classic fairytale meets Italian comedy in this reimagined story of the girl who spends her life sweeping cinders, but dreams of something more. If you think you know Cinderella, think again.
Opera, Backstage, Folklore

La Boheme: WNO Opera Look-In

Cuesheet: WNO Opera Look-In: La bohème
Get a special, insider’s peek behind the curtains of one of the world’s most popular operas, Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème.
Opera, Backstage

La Boheme

Cuesheet: WNO Working Rehearsal: La bohème
Can people survive simply on love and art? Puccini’s famous poor-but-happy Parisians seem to believe so. But can their bohemian lifestyle keep them warm throughout winter into spring?
Opera, Backstage

Washington National Opera: The Little Prince

Cuesheet: WNO Working Rehearsal: The Little Prince
Take a trip through space and time with a mysterious little prince as he gives a lonely pilot some valuable lessons in life, love, and laughter.
Opera, Backstage

Moby-Dick Opera Look-In

Cuesheet: WNO Look-In: Moby-Dick
Get a special, insider’s peek behind the curtains of Moby-Dick, a new opera of Herman Melville’s 19th-century literary masterwork.
Opera, Backstage, Literature

Washington National Opera: The Elixir of Love

Cuesheet: WNO Working Rehearsal: Elixir of Love
You can’t make someone love you. Or can you? The hero of this famous comic opera believes he might be able to pull off the impossible with a little magic.
Opera, Backstage

Washington National Opers: Moby Dick

Cuesheet: WNO Working Rehearsal: Moby-Dick
Hoist sail, raise anchor, and join the hunt for the great white whale! Experience a musical journey of Herman Melville’s epic tale of obsession, madness, and death-defying adventure.
Opera, Backstage, Literature

The Magic Flute: Washington National Opera Working Rehearsal

Cuesheet: WNO Working Rehearsal: The Magic Flute
Anything is possible in a land ruled by light and darkness—even true love. Throw in a zany sidekick, a noble quest, and one enchanted flute, and you have an operatic masterpiece.
Opera, Backstage

American Voices

KC Festival: American Voices
Here’s your opportunity to “go backstage” at the Kennedy Center and see and hear about the unique pleasures and pitfalls of classical, musical theater, jazz, gospel, country, and pop singing.
Backstage, Music, Music Legends, Musicals, Opera, Jazz, Popular Culture, Rock & Roll

Maria Callas as Norma

Article: Viva la Diva!
A look at some of opera's most demanding female roles
Theater, Orchestra, Music, Tragedy, Opera

Atlanta Opera's production of Cosi Fan Tutte

Article: Cozying up to Così
A guide to Mozart's hilarious romantic comedy
Opera, Music, Theater, Comedy, Composers

La Traviata

Article: Boy Meets Girl, Girl Meets Tragic End
You haven't experienced stage romance until you've experienced opera. Here's a look at opera in love
Opera, Tragedy, Europe, Music, Theater

Singer

Article: The Real Life of a Singer
A mini-course in starting a singing career
Music, Young Artists, Musicals, Jobs in the Arts, Opera, Rock & Roll

Singer

Article: What It Takes to Become a Professional Singer
So, you want to be a singer. What's next? A beginner's guide to starting a vocal career
Young Artists, Music, Jobs in the Arts, Opera, Musicals, Broadway

Singing Audition

Article: The Ins and Outs of Trying Out
Pointers for your next singing audition
Musicals, Opera, Music, Young Artists, Jobs in the Arts

Singing at Piano

Article: No Singer is an Island
Some thoughts on being a musical teamplayer
Music, Young Artists, Jobs in the Arts, Musicals, Broadway, Rock & Roll, Opera

henry fonda in the grapes of wrath

Series: The Grapes of Wrath: Voice and Vision
This collection of suggested lessons and activities aim at helping students build a framework, from various perspectives of the 1930s, in which to embed a close study of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath
America, History, Geography, Science, Nature, Presidents, Literature, Music, Movies & Movie Stars, Opera

Conducting choir

Article: Understanding Different Voice Types
Ever wonder what makes one voice sound different from the next? Check out this look at (and listen to) vocal types and the various colors and textures of the human voice
Young Artists, Music, Opera

Young Female Singer

Article: Advice on Taking Care of Your Voice
Debunk myths about singing and learn the ABC's of how your voice works
Young Artists, Broadway, Jazz, Musicals, Opera, Rock & Roll

Beethoven graffiti

Collection: Great Composers
Get inside the mind of a composer-- from a popular song, to a Broadway musical, to a symphony, how does a composer write music?
Composers, Jazz, Innovators & Pioneers, Musical Instruments, Music, Music Legends, Opera, Orchestra, Popular Culture

It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings!

Collection: Opera Resources
Get out your opera glasses and prepare to take a look at the history and evolution of an art form over four hundred years old. Learn how singers train and condition their voices, become familiar with some of the stage’s most tragic love affairs, and discover how theatre and music combined can tell epic stories in unforgettable ways.
Choreographers, Composers, Europe, Musicals, Orchestra, Opera, Tragedy, Theater

Stage Fright

Article: Scare Away Stage Fright
Help your child let go of performance fears
Backstage, Ballet, Broadway, Dance, Family, Musicals, Opera, Orchestra, Young Artists

A Female Singer Performing

Article: Taking Care of Your Vocal Athlete
A resource for parents of young singers with a guide to choosing the right teacher
Musicals, Music, Family, Jazz, Opera, Popular Culture, Rock & Roll

Young Dancers

Article: Child's Play or Real Ambition?
How to connect your child with the performing arts
Young Artists, Family, Ballet, Dance, Musical Instruments, Music, Opera, Theater

Brunhilde

Article: Opera-tunity Knocks
A guide for all opera newbies, both young and old, with some hints as to how to calm the opera skeptic
Opera, Music

Gilded age painting

Grades 9-12 Lesson: Arts of the Gilded Age
Learn about and discuss characteristics of the Gilded Age. Using books, internet and other media, research the various fine and performing art forms popular during that time period.
Opera, Musicals, Architecture, Ballet, Music, Theater

Abraham Lincoln

Audio Series: Abraham Lincoln and Music
Abraham Lincoln was one of America's most unmusical presidents - he could neither play an instrument nor carry a tune
History, Music, Presidents, Theater, America, Opera, Musicals

Greece

Audio Series: Music of Greece: Past is Present
Discover how incomplete fragments of papyrus and stone can provide clues to recreating music that has not been heard in thousands of years, explore the far-reaching influence that ancient Greece has had on modern music, and experience the numerous cultural and historical influences that have contributed to the music of today’s Greece.
Opera, Greece, History, Music, World Cultures, Musical Instruments

Marian Anderson singing at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, 1939

Audio: Marian Anderson: Of Thee We Sing
The road to racial equality was a long one and the battle for equality had many heroes; some of them made history just by opening their mouths to sing.
America, Controversial, History, Music Legends, Opera

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Beverly Sills
"Art is the signature of civilizations."
America, Music, Music Legends, Opera

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Placido Domingo
"The high note is not the only thing."
Music, Music Legends, Opera

Metropolitan Opera House

Arts Days: October 22, 1883: For the Love of Music
Over a century ago, the Metropolitan Opera was housed in a building on Broadway at 39th Street in New York City. It was here that the first performance occurred—namely Faust, by Charles Gounod. The only reason a performance was made possible was all thanks to a group of wealthy New Yorkers with a passion for opera.

After being unable to purchase box seats for performances at the Academy of Music, they banded together to underwrite a brand new opera house. Initially, performers sang in Italian, later in German; fortunately, they agreed to stage operas in the works’ original languages during the 1895–96 season. Imagine hearing Aida in German! Today, the Metropolitan Opera presents over 200 performances each season, culled from a large repertoire, featuring the world’s most renowned vocal talents.
Art Venues, Opera, America

Syndney Opera House

Arts Days: October 20, 1973: Architecture as Art
Think of a few of the world’s most iconic structures. What comes to mind? Probably buildings like the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, and Big Ben. On this day in 1973, the Sydney Opera House was added to the list. As a symbol of Australia itself, the building resembles a huge white boat at full sail docked at the edge of the bustling Sydney Harbor.

That, in fact, was the image Danish architect Jorn Utzon had in mind when conceiving the design for this building that hosts a wide array of performing arts events, not just opera. Interestingly, the original “sail/roof” was beyond engineering capabilities at the time, and it took Utzon two years to solve design issues affecting the series of shell-shaped pieces.
Opera, Architecture, Art Venues

Luciano Pavarotti

Arts Days: October 12, 1935: King of the High C's
Performing with his father Fernando, a teenage Luciano Pavarotti won an international singing competition in Wales. This accomplishment set the stage for a lifetime of vocal artistry for this world-famous tenor. Pavarotti exposed countless listeners to the wonders of opera and other types of classical vocal music. Incidentally, certain operatic roles—like Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Boheme—became forever linked to the man and his voice.

His gift combined deep expressivity, stellar technique, and the ability to meld opera into pop culture. During a performance of La Fille du Regiment in 1972, Pavarotti received 17 curtain calls, in part for the stunning high Cs he could effortlessly hit. Pavarotti, who set the standard for operatic tenors, was celebrated as a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2001.
Music Legends, Opera, Music

Giuseppe Verdi

Arts Days: October 10, 1813: Viva Verdi
Don't think you know any opera? Bet you do. Several pieces by Giuseppe Verdi have taken such deep root in worldwide arts culture that you've probably heard them—and could even hum them with a little effort. “La donna e mobile,” written by this Italian Romantic composer, is one such recognizable piece from his opera Rigoletto, based on a play by Victor Hugo.

Verdi broke some standard “rules” of opera; for example, his Macbeth was the first Italian opera that did not include a love story, and is considered a truly original piece for that reason. Verdi’s incredible range of operatic works can be heard in La Traviata, Aida, Il Trovatore, and Falstaff. Think opera. Think Verdi.
Composers, Opera, Europe, Music, Music Legends

The John F. Kennedy Center

Arts Days: September 08, 1971: America’s Home for the Arts
In 1958, President Eisenhower signed legislation to build a national cultural center in Washington, D.C. Yet in the wake of President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Congress decided that the center would be a “living memorial” to our 35th president, who had worked tirelessly to elevate the role of the arts in America.

Opening night saw the debut performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, written in memory of the fallen president; other performers included the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Berkshire Boys Choir. Since that night, the Center has welcomed and entertained millions as the finest performers from around the globe have graced its multiple stages. In addition, its Education Department touches more than 11 million young people, teachers, and parents each year.
Architecture, Art Venues, Backstage, Ballet, Choreographers, Composers, Dance, Dance Legends, America, Innovators & Pioneers, Music, Music Legends, Musicals, Opera, Theater

Giacomo Puccini

Arts Days: December 22, 1858: For the Love of Opera
Are you surprised to learn that Giacomo Puccini was the latest in a long line of musicians in his family? For a while, he served as a church organist and choirmaster, but then he happened to enjoy a night at the opera: Verdi’s opera, Aida. Puccini was so inspired by what he heard and saw that he decided he, too, would compose operas.

He went on to create some of the world’s best-known ones, from La Boheme to Turandot. Over the next decade or so, Puccini composed what were arguably his three most successful operas in a row—Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and La Boheme. Influenced by composers from Verdi to Richard Wagner, Puccini’s operas contain scores of passionate beauty and intensity.
Composers, Opera, Music Legends, Music, Musicals, Europe

Scene from Aida

Arts Days: December 24, 1871: Love on the Nile
One of Giuseppe Verdi’s greatest operas, Aida, made its debut in Cairo, Egypt at the Khedivial Opera House. Why there? Well, an Egyptian prince named Ismail Pasha had commissioned Verdi to write the opera in the first place, paying him 150,000 francs to do so—equivalent to about $32,000 today.

Verdi composed the music for the story of Aida, an Ethiopian princess who is enslaved in Egypt, and her star-crossed relationship with Radames, an Egyptian soldier. Interestingly, Verdi was miffed that no members of the general public were in attendance at this premiere, so he considered the performance in Milan, Italy, the following year to be its true debut.
Musicals, Opera, Africa, Composers, Music, Folklore

Lillian Russell

Arts Days: November 22, 1880: Broadway’s Beauty
In the late 1870s, 18-year-old Helen Louise Leonard arrived in New York City in the hopes of becoming an opera star. After a bit role in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, the beautiful blonde singer was discovered by theatre owner Tony Pastor. He changed her name and introduced her on opening night as “Lillian Russell, the English Ballad Singer.”

Russell’s gorgeous soprano and voluptuous figure earned her the nickname “America’s Beauty,” and she kept the press busy with her penchant for living life to the fullest. Russell starred in more than 24 musical comedies, many of which were written expressly for her. While none of her musicals are performed today, Lillian Russell is still remembered as one of the early 20th century’s most important Broadway stars.
Broadway, Theater, America, Musicals, Opera, Music Legends, Music

Placido Domingo

Arts Days: January 21, 1941: Phenom of the Opera
At age eight, operatic tenor Plácido Domingo moved to Mexico and attended the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City. Originally, he studied piano and conducting, until his strong voice was discovered.

Domingo's voice is known for its versatility and dramatic tone throughout its wide range. He made his operatic debut in 1961 as Alfredo in La Traviata. Since then, he has performed for audiences all over the world and has appeared in more than 400 performances in 41 different roles at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Domingo has also made a name for himself as a conductor, leading musical forces from London's Covent Garden to New York's Metropolitan Opera and Washington's Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is also a 2000 Kennedy Center Honoree.
Music Legends, Opera, Music

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