Italian soprano Federica Lombardi made her American opera debut last year with New York Metropolitan Opera. This weekend, she makes her American orchestra debut with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. The singer, who has sang in some of Europe’s most prestigious opera houses from La Scala in Milan to Berlin’s Deutsche Oper, will perform the arias from...

A venerated Detroit institution is handing its musical reins to a rising star. In a bold, forward-looking move, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has hired charismatic young Italian conductor Jader Bignamini as its music director — the 43-year-old's first time in that role anywhere. Bignamini’s six-year contract will begin with the 2020-2021 DSO seaso...

Love, lust, seduction. Lies, betrayal, revenge. Murder most foul. Comeuppance. Shakespeare set ‘em up like bowling pins and had his fictional characters knock them down, one by one, over and over again. And from there to Dallas and Dynasty, from Downtown Abbey to Game of Thrones, these have always been the staples, the tried-and-trues, of dramatic...

When opera star Joyce DiDonato told us she wanted to sing centuries-old Italian love songs at the Tiny Desk we weren't surprised. But when she said she was bringing a jazz band to back her up, we did a double take. But that's Joyce, always taking risks. After all, the last time we filmed the down-to-earth diva, she insisted on singing an opera aria...

It’s a tale nearly as old as time: Girl meets boy, falls in love, and so on and so forth until it all ends either tragically or “happily ever after.” But this time around, it’s a story that’s persevered in the hearts and minds of opera lovers across the globe for over 100 years—and is making its way to Tucson. Originally composed by Giacomo Puccini...

North Carolina Opera presents Pagliacci on January 24 at 7:30pm and January 26 at 2:00pm in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh. For tickets call 919-792-3853 or purchase online at www.ncopera.org. BASED ON A TRUE STORY . . . Canio leads a happy-go-lucky group of traveling carnival players, but h...

There are few operas as relatable as La Bohème, Puccini’s beloved tale of young, broke city hipsters living for themselves and each other, and for love or something like it in newly bourgeoisie 19th-century Paris. Anyone raised on Rent, the opera’s rock musical adaptation, or for that matter the sitcom Friends will recognize in La Bohème an ensembl...

At the Oregon Symphony’s June 1 concert this year, Niel DePonte will play the famously energetic snare drum part in Maurice Ravel’s Bolero. The spring season will end his 42-year career as the symphony’s principal percussionist, a job he’s had since he was 24 years old. Symphonic percussionists’ duties have grown more complex in the past half-centu...

Opera on the James, located in Lynchburg, Virginia named singer, director, and teacher, Marco Nisticò General Director this past June. Nisticò summed up his mission on the company’s website, saying, “[Opera] has the capacity to move, inspire, provoke thought, and entertain. It helps us to understand who we are and how we relate to each other. As di...

Cio-Cio-San, a captivating geisha in Nagasaki, marries B. F. Pinkerton, an American naval lieutenant. For him, it's a lark, a diversion before he marries a "real" American wife. For her, it's a life-altering commitment that's briefly blissful, then disastrous: her family renounces her and Pinkerton leaves Japan. When he returns a few years later, h...