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“The more you know, the more you get,” says composer Daron Hagen of his richly layered work Shining Brow, which opens Arizona Opera’s 2019/2020 season as part of the McDougall RED Series (Sep. 27-29 at Phoenix’s Herberger Theater; Oct. 5-6 at Tucson’s Temple of Music and Art).

In Shining Brow, Daron Hagen has created a riveting McDougall RED Series production that feels as though it was ripped from the headlines of the past. Before you experience this "not to be believed" true story, get an insiders look at Shining Brow straight from the composer himself. Below, composer Daron Hagen explains his thoughts on the piece as well as what drove him to this specific story. 

"I was an ambitious, selfish 29-year-old in a hurry when, in 1990, I began composing Shining Brow with the great Irish poet Paul Muldoon.

Combining provocative and intriguing tales with lush music and excellent performers, Arizona Opera’s 2019/2020 performances move from the dangerous tension of 1950s Washington, DC to Frank Lloyd Wright’s tumultuous early years in the snug surroundings of Taliesin. Visit the streets of 19th-century Paris beloved by artists, absorb the sun-drenched desert sky of the Southwest, and finish the season at a frothy, fantastic dinner party mash-up of mythology and farce.

Spoiler Alert! If for some reason you are not caught up on GOT, do not read this.

Game of Thrones is meeting its end this Sunday. Don't worry, though, there's still plenty of drama to go around! When thinking about our love of Game of Thrones and our love of opera, we found there is not much of a difference in terms of drama, tragedy, and, well, endings we hate. 
So, here you are - your guide to finding the perfect opera based on your favorite aspects of Game of Thrones - in terms of the horrible parts, I mean. 

At first impression, the sample does not look like it was written in the 18th century. The writing has no flourishes or elaboration; it is simplified, fast, clear and very modern. There is no neglect in the punctuation and the margin is straight. The sample reveals a good space picture i.e.the space between the lines is quite clear and well organized.

Although Mozart is using a primitive pen, his skill in coordination of it is very effective.His simplication of forms is exceptional. His high intellect, speed and creative drive show an impatience with mediocrity.

The Marriage of Figaro is funny. Like, really funny. Some of its gags, wit, and mayhem are iconic and when done well, has us laughing the entire evening. But underneath its charming and clever shenanigans, The Marriage of Figaro has a revolutionary spirit. The opera has a fire that motivates its characters, and when done well, transforms its audience through the power of forgiveness, love, and societal change.

Opera is a global art form and throughout its 400-year history, opera has crossed cultural boundaries through the universal power of music. * And yet, something new is afoot. In our current operatic era, opera’s global impulses have been elevated creating new and exciting trends in the musical dramas of our time. Silent Night, the award-winning masterpiece of the 21st century, epitomizes the best of these modern ideas and opens new ways to create and experience this global art.

by Arlyn Imberman

Giuseppe Verdi's signature expresses clarity, high drama and grandiosity. It is a theatrical gesture which fills the page. Even the "i" dot at the upper right of his name expresses intensity and energy. The signature expresses a design thought through with creativity and shot through with certainty. The repeated circuitry of the signature is both a form of self-protection and a grand gesture. Despite the repeated lines, the signature is legible - showing Verdi with a strong sense of self who is aware of his special gifts. 

Arizona Opera’s 2019/20 Season offers two distinct operatic experiences: from more intimate, powerful, theatrical performances of new works, to beloved traditional and large format modern masterpieces.

One of Phoenix’s premiere performing arts venues, Symphony Hall is the home of several performing arts originations in the Valley, including Arizona Opera. With over 2,240 seats, Symphony Hall is a perfect place to experience the grand operatic pieces of our Main Stage Series with family and friends.

La Traviata is consistently crowned the most performed opera in the world, receiving thousands of performances a year. In fact, Verdi—rivaled only by Mozart and Puccini—dominates the annual top ten list. Because of this perennial popularity, audiences often equate Giuseppe Verdi with their conception of opera itself. Verdi is opera’s ivory tower, a timeless beacon of tradition that no modern composer can ever hope to match.


The famous riffs of saxophonist Charlie Parker aren’t so distant from the roots of Western classical music tradition.

Parker -- known by nicknames including “Bird” and “Yardbird” -- expanded on traditional jazz ensembles and enjoyed adding orchestral instruments including strings, harp and oboe. One of his recordings lifts a bassoon line from Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, and he reportedly yearned to study with Nadia Boulanger, the teacher of Copland and Bernstein.

When opera was invented in Italy during the 1590s, it had more in common with a jazz club than the opera house. These first operas were performed in dimly-lit, intimate rooms, and they were highly improvised. Small ensembles—or combos—of continuo instruments would stretch time, play with dissonance, and do whatever it took to highlight the drama at hand.