An Ikea opera?

As if a scent opera wasn’t enough to scramble our notions of what opera can be this week, it seems a dynamic group of Brits are producing an opera live in a furniture store. It’s called “Flatpack the Opera“, by composer Tom Lane. The work originated in a theater but is migrating to Ikea in order to directly involve the public and pose questions about everyday domestic interactions. Sounds fun!

In other news, here’s a review of Faust that I missed. This comes from the new local news website Reviewer Bill Wineke says “The singing was superb, as was the orchestra…” in addition to many other nice things.

An opera that really stinks

We’re all in Faust recovery mode, crunching numbers from the production for our board meeting this afternoon and also looking ahead excitedly to Opera in the Park 2009 on July 25 and the new season after that. It’s a bit of a transitional period, so to pass the time here I offer up this interesting story from the Wall Street Journal last week: “This Opera Hasn’t Even Opened, But We Know It Smells“, or as the subject line of the forward read, “Stinkoletto”…

Most high-end perfumers spend months designing a signature scent they hope will stay on the market forever.

Christophe Laudamiel, who wants to turn fragrance into high art, has labored for two years on 23 scents that will last for just half an hour.

Mr. Laudamiel, a French fragrance designer who has created perfumes for Clinique, Estée Lauder, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors, is collaborating on a “scent opera,” a new performance art that pairs music with a carefully orchestrated sequence of smells, some pleasant and some real stinkers. The opera, titled “Green Aria,” will test the boundaries of scent art when it opens at the Guggenheim Museum in New York May 31.

Faust broadcast tomorrow

If you missed Faust last weekend or are raring to hear the Madison Opera performance again, you’re in luck: tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Wisconsin Public Radio will broadcast last Friday night’s performance of Faust in Overture Hall. Tune in to WERN 88.7 or visit the WPR website to stream the broadcast online. Enjoy the intermission features with host Stephanie Elkins, as she chats with our Marguerite Jill Gardner and Maestro Laurent Campellone.

*Our original announcement online and in the performance programs incorrectly stated that the Faust broadcast was on June 6. Tomorrow, Saturday May 23, is the correct date.

Explore the Voice a success

Thank you to everyone who came out for “Explore the Voice” at the UW Hospital and Clinics on Saturday, May 16, and a big thank you to the UW Voice and Swallow Clinic staff for all of their organizational efforts! The workshops were full and there was a great feeling in the air throughout the event. I think the content of the seminars and workshops was balanced really well between practical health management of the voice and career and vocal advice for singers.

From the Madison Opera team, we had General Director Allan Naplan presenting on how an opera company works, and Chorus Master Andrew Abrams discussing how to train for a career as a crossover artist in both opera and musical theater. There was a big mix of music educators, voice students, casual singers, and occupational voice users in attendance, and it seems there is great interest for a similar, FREE symposium next year.