Opera News

Last updated
Opera News
March 2020 Opera News Cover Image.jpg
The cover of the March 2020 issue, featuring soprano Diana Damrau
Editor-in-ChiefF. Paul Driscoll
Categories Classical music/Opera
Total circulation
51,578[ citation needed ]
First issue1936
Company Metropolitan Opera Guild
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City
Website www.operanews.com
ISSN 0030-3607

Opera News is an American classical music magazine. It has been published since 1936 by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, a non-profit organization located at Lincoln Center which was founded to engender the appreciation of opera and also support the Metropolitan Opera of New York City. Opera News was initially focused primarily on the Met, particularly providing information for listeners of the Saturday afternoon live Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts. Over the years, the magazine has broadened its scope to include the larger American and international opera scenes. Currently published monthly, Opera News offers opera related feature articles; artist interviews; production profiles; musicological pieces; music-business reportage; reviews of performances in the United States and Europe; reviews of recordings, videos, books and audio equipment; and listings of opera performances in the U.S.


The Editor-in-Chief is currently F. Paul Driscoll. Regular contributors to the magazine, both past and present, include its former features editor, Brian Kellow, William Ashbrook, Scott Barnes, Jochen Breiholz, Erika Davidson, Justin Davidson, Peter G. Davis, Matthew Gurewitsch, Joel Honig, Tim Page, Judith Malafronte, Mark Thomas Ketterson, Martin Bernheimer, Ira Siff, Joanne Sydney Lessner, Anne Midgette, Drew Minter, William R. Braun, Phillip Kennicott, Joshua Rosenblum, Leslie Rubinstein, Alan Wagner, Adam Wasserman, Oussama Zahr, and William Zakariasen.[ citation needed ]

The magazine is also available online, with some archival content going back to 1949. The web site was redesigned in spring 2010. Some of the online content is available only to subscribers to the print edition.


Opera News [note 1] was founded in 1936 by the Metropolitan Opera Guild with Mrs. John DeWitt Peltz (Mary Ellis Peltz) serving as the publication's first editor. It was initially intended to be a "useful, instructive, and factual weekly newspaper of Opera in New York".[ This quote needs a citation ] Its first issue was published on 7 December 1936 and consisted of only one folded broadsheet. Its second year of publication saw its transformation into a 17-page magazine with advertising, with its first magazine issue appearing on 15 November 1937. Beginning with the December 1940 issue, the magazine began to concentrate much of its content on the weekly Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts. The magazine at this point offered bi-weekly issues of an expanded size during the Fall, Winter, and Spring, but was on hiatus during the summers. As time went on, the magazine began to take on a more international scope of coverage; but it still maintained a strong interest in the New York opera scene and the Met in particular.

In the Fall of 1957 Frank Merkling succeeded Peltz as the second chief editor of Opera News, with his first issue appearing on 14 October 1957. In 1972 the magazine became a year-round publication, adding monthly issues in the summer months while maintaining its bi-weekly schedule during the opera season. In 1974 Robert Jacobson became the magazine's third chief editor. Jacobson was succeeded by Patrick O'Connor (1988), who was succeeded in 1989 by Patrick J. Smith. In 1998, Smith was succeeded by Rudolph S. Rauch. Under the leadership of Rauch and executive editor Brian Kellow, the magazine switched to a monthly publication format in September 1998. F. Paul Driscoll, the current editor in chief, was appointed in July 2003.

Beginning with the June 2012 issue, the Metropolitan Opera said that Opera News would cease reviewing Met performances, following dissatisfaction among the Met leadership with the magazine's recent critiques of Robert Lepage's production of the Ring Cycle and of the company's direction under Peter Gelb. [3] However, reactions from the public led to the decision being reversed. [4] [5]

Opera News Awards

Since 2005 the magazine has annually bestowed five Opera News Awards for Distinguished Achievement.

Past recipients of the awards have included:

Notes and references


  1. The magazine The Opera News was published by the John Wanamaker department stores Wanamaker's in the early twentieth century. [1] [2]


  1. John Wanamaker collection, Collection 2188, 1827–1987
  2. The Opera News, Wanamaker, volumes 5–9, 1913
  3. Wakin, Daniel J. (May 21, 2012). "Latest Met Aria: Bad Opera News Is No News". The New York Times.
  4. Barton, Chris (May 22, 2012). "The Met reverses policy, will allow Opera News to review productions". Los Angeles Times.
  5. Boise State Public Radio (May 24, 2012). "An Online Debate Of Operatic Intensity: The Met And Its Critics". National Public Radio .
  6. "Sixth Annual Opera News Awards to Honor Jonas Kaufmann, Riccardo Muti, Patricia Racette, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa & Bryn Terfel". Opera News. August 4, 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  7. "2011 Opera News Awards to Honor Karita Mattila, Anja Silja, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Peter Mattei and Peter Sellars". Opera News. August 11, 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  8. "2012 Opera News Awards Honorees Announced". Opera News. August 7, 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  9. "Patrice Chéreau, Juan Diego Flórez, Christa Ludwig, James Morris and Nina Stemme to be Honored at the Ninth Annual Opera News Awards". Opera News. September 10, 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  10. "Tenth Annual Opera News Awards to Honor Piotr Beczala, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Sondra Radvanovsky, Samuel Ramey and Teresa Stratas". Opera News. December 9, 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  11. "Joseph Calleja, Elīna Garanča, Waltraud Meier, Anna Netrebko & José van Dam Named as 2016 Opera News Awards Recipients". Opera News. December 10, 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  12. "12th Annual Opera News Awards Are Announced!". BWW Opera World. October 31, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  13. "Opera News Announces 13th Annual Opera News Awards" by Francisco Salazar, operawire.com
  14. "Rosalind Elias, Laurent Pelly, Ailyn Pérez, Luca Pisaroni and Ramón Vargas Named as Recipients of the 14th Annual Opera News Awards" by Opera News
  15. "Thomas Allen, Javier Camarena, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Diana Damrau and Ana María Martínez Named as Recipients of the 15th Annual Opera News Awards" by Opera News

Related Research Articles

The Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording has been awarded since 1961. The award was originally titled Best Classical Opera Production. The current title has been used since 1962.

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition is a competition for opera singers held every two years.


Iolanta, Op. 69, is a lyric opera in one act by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. It was the last opera he composed. The libretto was written by the composer's brother Modest Tchaikovsky, and is based on the Danish play Kong Renés Datter by Henrik Hertz, a romanticised account of the life of Yolande de Bar. In the original Danish play, the spelling of the princess's name was "Iolanthe", later adopted for the otherwise unrelated Gilbert and Sullivan operetta of that name. The play was translated by Fyodor Miller and adapted by Vladimir Zotov. The opera received its premiere on 18 December 1892 in Saint Petersburg.

Anna Netrebko

Anna Yuryevna Netrebko is a Russian-Austrian operatic soprano. Discovered and promoted by Valery Gergiev, she began her career at the Mariinsky Theatre, collaborating with the conductor in the theater and performances elsewhere. She was noticed globally after playing Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni at the 2002 Salzburg Festival. She had been known for her rendition of lyric and coloratura soprano roles, most notably Donna Anna and Violetta in Verdi's La traviata, and proceeded into heavier 19th-century romantic roles, such as Leonora in Il trovatore and the role of Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. Since 2016, she has turned her focus to Verismo repertoire.

Mary Zimmerman is an American theatre and opera director and playwright from Nebraska. She is an ensemble member of the Lookingglass Theatre Company, the Manilow Resident Director at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, and also serves as the Jaharis Family Foundation Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University.

Marcelo Álvarez

Marcelo Raúl Álvarez is an Argentine lyric tenor who achieved international success starting in the mid-1990s.

Suzanna Guzmán

Suzanna Guzmán is an American mezzo-soprano and Emmy Award winning television host. Currently she is the host of the weekly radio program Opera at Noon and On Broadway on 105.1HD4 KMozart. She was also seen as host on television's KCET's weekly series Open Call. As a singer she has performed with international and American opera companies as a principal artist: La traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, La favorite in Montpellier, France, and Goya at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. She is known for her portrayal of the title role in Carmen for Houston Grand Opera's multimedia production, a role she has performed more than 200 times. Recent appearances have been with Spoleto Festival USA, SIFA- Singapore Festival of the Arts, Opera Santa Barbara, Los Angeles Philharmonic and with Latino Theatre Company for 17 seasons as La Virgen in the annual pagaent Diós Inatzin: La Virgen de Tepeyac.

Elīna Garanča

Elīna Garanča is a Latvian mezzo-soprano. She began to study singing in her hometown of Riga in 1996 and continued her studies in Vienna and in the United States. By 1999 she had won first place in a significant competition in Finland and had begun a career in Europe. Worldwide engagements followed her 2003 Salzburg Festival appearances.

Patricia Racette

Patricia Lynn Racette is an American operatic soprano. A winner of the Richard Tucker Award in 1998, she has been a regular presence at major opera houses internationally. Racette has enjoyed long-term partnerships with the San Francisco Opera, where she has been a regular performer since 1989, and with the Metropolitan Opera, where she has performed since 1995. Also active on the concert stage, Racette has appeared with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. She also received the award for Best Opera Recording for her performance in the Los Angeles Opera's production of The Ghosts of Versailles at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.

Diana Damrau German soprano

Diana Damrau is a German soprano. She has been successful in coloratura soprano roles, especially admired as the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos. She has gradually proceeded into 19th-century Italian bel canto repertoire, singing roles such as Violetta in La traviata and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. Damrau is also known as a lieder singer.

Sondra Radvanovsky

Sondra Dee Radvanovsky is an American-Canadian soprano. Specializing in 19th-century Italian opera, Radvanovsky has been called one of the leading Verdi sopranos of her generation. Her signature roles include Elvira in Ernani, Leonora in Il trovatore, Elena in I vespri siciliani, Élisabeth in Don Carlos, and the title role in Norma.

Erwin Schrott

Erwin Schrott is an operatic bass-baritone, particularly known for his interpretation of the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni.

The Richard Tucker Music Foundation, founded in 1975, carries the name of Richard Tucker. The foundation is a "non-profit cultural organization dedicated to perpetuating the artistic legacy of the great American tenor through the support and advancement of the careers of talented American opera singers by bringing opera into the community. The Foundation seeks to heighten appreciation for opera by offering free performances in the New York metropolitan area and by supporting music education enrichment programs."

Metropolitan Opera Live in HD is a series of live opera performances transmitted in high-definition video via satellite from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City to select venues, primarily movie theaters, in the United States and other parts of the world. The first transmission was of a condensed English-language version of Mozart's The Magic Flute on December 30, 2006. Many of the video recordings are later rebroadcast via public television as part of the Great Performances at the Met series, and most are made available for streaming at Met Opera on Demand.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky Russian baritone

Dmitri Aleksandrovich Hvorostovsky was a Russian operatic baritone.

Lawrence Brownlee is an American operatic tenor particularly associated with the bel canto repertoire. Describing his voice, Speight Jenkins, general director of the Seattle Opera, said: "There are other singers that sing this repertory very well, but I don't think anyone else has quite as beautiful a sound and as rounded a tone," and praise his "incredible top notes", adding about his high F (F5) in "Credeasi, misera": "With him it's not a scream, it's a beautiful sound." Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato adds: "He is always in service of the music. His natural instrument is just incredibly beautiful. The word 'honey' comes to mind. He also has technical prowess and agility."

Mary Ellis Peltz was an American drama and music critic, magazine editor, poet and writer on music. Born Mary Ellis Opdycke, Peltz was educated at the Spence School and Barnard College. At the age of 24 she joined the staff of The New York Sun as assistant music critic. She left the paper in 1924 at the time of her marriage to John DeWitt Peltz. She later worked for The Junior League Magazine as a drama critic and published both poetry and articles in a variety of publications; including Harper's Magazine and Poetry. In 1936 she became the first chief editor of Opera News, a position she held until 1957 when she founded the Metropolitan Opera's archives. She served as director of the Met's archives from 1957–1981.

Marina Poplavskaya

Marina Poplavskaya is a Russian operatic soprano. Her repertoire includes leading roles in operas of the Romantic era; she is particularly known for her performances in the operas of Verdi.

The Russian Children's Welfare Society is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City with branches in Moscow and San Francisco. It was founded in 1926 to help Russian children whose families fled to other countries after the onset of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Society has refocused all of its efforts solely on Russia. The RCWS funds scholarship programs, medical procedures, pediatric hospitals, rehabilitation programs, and orphanages throughout Russia.

Ailyn Pérez American opera singer

Ailyn Pérez is an American operatic soprano known for her interpretation of Violetta, Mimì and Thaïs. She is a 2019 Opera News Awards Honoree, and the winner of the 2012 Richard Tucker Award. In 2016, she received the $50,000 Beverly Sills Award and the 2017 Sphinx Medal of Excellence from the Sphinx Organization.