season-opener

2016 Japan Open, CS Autumn Classic, CS Ondrej Nepela Memorial, & JGP Estonia: Info & Streaming

Get ready to lose some sleep, because there are four - yes, FOUR - competitions on three different continents this week! Several top skaters will premier new free skates at Japan Open, while the Challenger Series continues in both Canada and Slovakia and the Junior Grand Prix makes its sixth stop in Estonia.

This post will be updated as more information appears.

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I want to talk about this:

Here is a list of the oldest and newest operas being presented in mainstage productions in the 2016-17 season by the twelve largest U.S. opera companies, the ones making up Opera America’s budget category 1. (Click on the image above to enlarge it.) 


As a fan of baroque opera, I am disappointed to see the baroque era almost entirely neglected by this country’s leading opera companies, the ones with the greatest resources to throw into the art form. Just one of the twelve largest companies, Santa Fe Opera, is staging any opera pre-dating Mozart this year. Collectively, our top opera companies offered nothing at all in the baroque category last year; this year we get one of Handel’s most popular pieces, Alcina, but nothing by Monteverdi or Cavalli, Purcell or Telemann, Vinci or Vivaldi, Lully or Rameau. There are baroque treasures to be found in concert performances and in small festivals, but the artistic richness of baroque opera seems to be largely ignored by the organizations with the broadest reach to opera audiences and thus, I think, the greatest responsibility to perpetuate (Western) opera as an art form with a full four centuries of development. 

Instead, the major opera companies of the U.S. could easily give you the impression that no opera of any interest was written before Mozart came onto the scene. Among the twelve largest companies, eight have chosen a Mozart opera for their earliest mainstage production this season; one has chosen a rarely-performed work by a close contemporary of Mozart’s (Vincente Martín y Soler); and two are doing bel canto operas as their earliest offerings. 


On the other hand, the news is a lot better if you look at the newer end of the scale, and I want to give the U.S. opera scene some recognition for that. Collectively, the dozen largest opera companies are doing pretty well at producing new works and staging stories from historically underrepresented perspectives. 

Looking down the list of the companies’ newest productions this year, I see five world premieres, three revivals of twenty-first century operas, and three twentieth century operas, leaving just one company whose mainstage season falls entirely in the nineteenth century. That’s San Diego, which survived a brush with death two years ago. It is worth noting that the company’s secondary production program, the Shiley dētour Series, is presenting David T. Little’s contemporary one act opera Soldier Songs this fall.

I mentioned that the leading companies are doing relatively well at staging operas written in some sense from historically underrepresented perspectives. Here are some that caught my notice in the 2016-17 season:

  • L’amour de Loin at the Metropolitan Opera (female composer; Lebanese-French librettist)
  • Breaking the Waves at Opera Philadelphia (female composer; theme of gender-based violence)
  • Dream of the Red Chamber at San Francisco Opera (Chinese-American composer; Chinese-American librettists; Chinese source material)
  • Champion at Washington National Opera (African-American composer; African-American and bisexual subject; theme of homophobia)

And a few notable pieces from the companies’ secondary, experimental production programs:

  • The Source at LA Opera Off Grand (transgender subject)
  • Thumbprint at LA Opera Off Grand (female composer; female librettist; theme of gender-based violence)
  • The Dictator’s Wife at Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative (Pakistani librettist)
  • The twenty-minute operas What Gets Kept and Lifeboat at Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative (female composer and librettist for the former; female librettist for the latter)

p.s. Editing to add: I received a question about the source for my data. I got the list of category 1 opera companies from the Opera America website, then visited each company’s website to research their 2016-17 seasons and looked up the premiere dates of the operas that I guessed would be on the older and newer ends of the range. I am, as always, glad to receive corrections if I’ve missed something.

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Happening NOW (12/24/14): ANOTHER black teenager has been gunned down in St Louis, just miles from Ferguson. 18-year old Antonio Martin was killed outside of a mobile gas station late Tuesday night. Details are still emerging, but the similarities to Mike Brown are stark. #staywoke

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NEW VIDEO: “Heaviest Fanmail Package EVER - if you want me to stalk your blog, reblog this post and I might follow you! <3

okay but consider this: INTERSPECIES FAMILY FRIENDLY SCHOOLS. For any family with any amount of supernatural family members - though it’s probably more of a haven for human couples who adopted a little monster kid.

Imagine some freshly graduated human elementary school teacher having to “settle” for a job at one of these schools. Being overwhelmed, confused, terrified, but eventually comes to love it there.

Imagine the fucking HANDBOOK on teaching classrooms full of every kind of supernatural creature.

“Molting season for harpies should be handled as such: Assure the child their molting is natural, and offer them the special molting-itch cream from the nurse’s office. Help the child collect any fallen feathers, etc….”

“Kappas only get ONE cucumber before nap time. Otherwise they will refuse to go to sleep.”

“Make sure playtime with especially carnivorous/predatory children is heavily monitored. Before they mature, most reactions are instinctual and the child cannot help it.”

“Seat the children accordingly…. do not place pixies too close to children who may find their erratic hovering distracting or tempting.”

“Aquatic children should be placed in the transportable aquariums so they can join the others for recess.”

“Insect-variant and snake species will have to miss school periodically during their molting process, as it can be very painful for them. Be sure everyone in the class knows to be extra gentle with them once they return, since they’ll be very sensitive to touch for a few days.”

“Remember that not all sentient supernatural children are humanoid. Take care in addressing little ones like chimeras, kemono, dragonfolk, or the like. They are not animals but fully fledged persons despite any difference in stature.”

“Slime children should all be placed in classrooms with tile floors and special drains for easy cleaning. However, do not keep these rooms isolated, make sure each room has a good balance of different species for optimal socialization.”

“Remember to teach children tolerance of one another, even if a certain species is particularly troublesome to them. (Only within reason; do not attempt this if two species are hazardous to another’s health, for instance.)”

“Night classes are held for children who find it more comfortable without the sun.”

“Remember to accept any hug given to you. Slime, tentacles, smell and all.”

I could honestly go on for hours but I’m gonna stop but JUST IMAGINE. JUST. IMAGINE ADORABLE CLASSROOM SHENANIGANS IN A STILL RELATIVELY NEW POST-TRANSCENDENCE WORLD.

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get to know me meme | [9/10] favorite tv shows: Sailor Moon

“If a soldier’s pride means hurting one another, I don’t want it.”