From July, 2014

Lorin Maazel and Madame Butterfly

On July 13 conductor Lorin Maazel passed away.  Maazel , 84, was a child prodigy who began leading orchestras at the age of 9.  His final performance was a production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, which took place at the Castleton Festival in Virginia two days earlier.  Tomer Zvulun, General and Artistic Director of the Atlanta Opera, collaborated with Maazel as stage director for Butterfly.  The Castleton production, which featured sets designed by Erhard Rom, was a joint venture with Atlanta Opera and New Orleans Opera  and will be featured in Atlanta this November.

Meeting Celeste Headlee

NPR journalist Celeste Headlee recently moved to Atlanta and will be hosting a 9 a.m. radio show on GPB’s newly acquired signal 88.5 that launches in October 2014.   I had an opportunity to meet Headlee earlier this week and we spoke about her musical legacy as the grand-daughter of esteemed American Composer, William Grant Still (1895-1978).  Still’s opera Troubled Island – with libretto by Langston Hughes and Verna Arvey – premiered at New York City Opera in 1949 and was the first opera by a black composer to be performed in the United States.  Still’s other operas include Blue Steel, A Bayou Legend, Highway NO. 1, U.S.A., Costaso, Mota,…