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Nationalism was a big deal in the 19th century, and in this age of revolution, music was often used to create this sense of national identity. Whether it was the bel canto operas of Italy, the romanticism of German, or the theatrical flair of France, Verdi, Wagner, Meyerbeer (although not French, he did a lot for French nationalism) and others created music that defined the nations they represented.

When Arizona Opera began to plan how we wanted to launch the first artistic season planned entirely by us, the current administration, a few things were clear. Practical goals needed to be achieved in order to capitalize on the momentum our company had enjoyed in the previous season—the two most important of which were building larger audiences and garnering more support for our art.

Verdi is one of the greatest operatic composers of all time. While this sentence may seem hyperbolic, ever since he hit his stride in the 1850s, Verdi reputation as the greatest musical dramatist has only grown, and it is Verdi’s mythic status that makes his works among the most performed operas in the world.

YES! Says Maria Nockin

Maria Nockin is an opera critic whose works have appeared in Classical Singer Magazine, Opera Today, Music and Vision Daily and elsewhere.  Further articles and reviews can be found, in English at www,operatoday.com or in Spanish at www.proopera.org.mx.

NO! says Iris Arnesen

Iris Arnesen is the author of Nine Famous Opera: What’s really Going On! and The Romantic World of Puccini: A New Critical Appraisal of the Operas.  She is a lecturer on opera and editor of The Opera Glass, a performing arts periodical that covers opera, theatre, dance, and concert music.

En la celebración de la primera ópera de mariachi del mundo Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, Arizona Opera presenta el Festival de la Herencia Hispana. Estamos celebrando nuestras diferencias culturales con el fin de encontrar el fundamento en común que nos une.

 

“… And Superman married Princess Elsa and they all lived happily ever after!”

On an early Friday morning, another opera received its world premiere thanks to the students at Liberty Elementary and our OperaTunity Troupe. Since early September, our teaching artists have been touring southern Arizona performing Instant Opera. This zany, 40-minute program teaches kids about the basics of opera all while teaching them how to create their own stories!

I can’t believe the 2014-15 Season is already here. After almost 18 months of planning, we can’t wait to share these five wonderful pieces with Arizona audiences. From classic to contemporary operas, from traditional to conceptual productions, we have it all!

The precise meaning and origin of the word Mariachi is debated among scholars – some say the word is a variation on the French mirage, meaning marriage as the music of mariachi was frequently played at weddings. Others claim the word has roots which may reflect the name of the wood (Pilla or Cirmio) used by a tribe of indigenous peoples in what is now modern day Mexico (coincidentally, this wood is used to make guitars, an instrument synonymous with mariachi). Regardless of its precise meaning, mariachi is one of the most invigorating and enthralling musical styles in the world.  

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