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Arizona Opera Podcast
Bold. Brave. Brilliant.
Feb 28, 2022
Meet the Director of Community Alliances & the Founder of VerveSimone
Join Cassie & Kathleen as they meet Arizona Opera’s Director of Community Alliances, Courtney Clark, and Founder & CEO of VerveSimone, Teniqua Broughton. Learn what the newly created position of Director of Community Alliance entails and how Courtney came to join the team. Find out what VerveSimone is and how Teniqua’s company started working with Arizona Opera. Discover how vital community engagement and outreach programs are, learn the winding path that brought both Courtney and Teniqua to Arizona Opera, and why squash and oatmeal won’t be part of their dinner with Oprah!
1 hr 4 min
Feb 1, 2022
Meet the Lighting Designer (Gels, Gobos, and Rouge Elephants!)
Join Cassie & Kathleen as they meet Greg Hirsch, Arizona Opera’s Director of Production and Resident Lighting Designer. Find out what a Director of Production actually does and learn how in the hubris of youth, Greg became a Lighting Designer by buying a book. Discover what gels and gobos are, learn Greg’s favorite gel color and find out what a rouge elephant has to do with opera!
Nov 22, 2021
Meet the Costume Apprentices (Socks, Pockets, and Zippers)
Join Cassie & Kathleen as they meet Cody Grasher, Tenaya Tidwell, and Kayla Zeimet, this season’s Costume Shop Apprentices. Learn the difference between a Journeyman apprentice and an Apprentice I. Find out how Kayla and Tenaya came to Arizona Opera and what they are looking forward to the most for this season. Join us as we talk fashion styles that should go and ones that we love and find out why socks, pockets and zippers could be controversial.
Oct 25, 2021
Behind the Scenes! Episode 2: Meet the Education Teaching Artists (Okra.....Okra Can Go!)
Join Cassie & Kathleen as they meet Dr. Miriam Schildkret, PN1. Find out what an Arizona Opera Teaching Artist does and learn how she came to fill such a vital and rewarding position in the Education Department. Join us as Miriam talks about the importance of both physical and mental health, while she shares stories of being saved from witches, collecting broken leaves and why okra can go!
Sep 28, 2021
Welcome Back with the General Director
Join Cassie & Kathleen as they talk with Arizona Opera’s President and General Director, Joseph Specter. Learn about the winding road that led Joe from Pee-wee football player, to aspiring rock-star, all the way to Arizona Opera. Discover what a General Director actually does, get a peek behind the curtain, and learn why Joe and the Arizona Opera team might be sipping lattes and Kool-Aid around the proverbial campfire.
Aug 24, 2021
UnMic'd - Ceiling Breakers
What does it take to rise to the top of an arts organization? And what does it take to break through the barriers of gender and race in order to reach that peak? Classical arts organizations across the US—including opera companies and symphony orchestras—are engaged in an important moment of self-reflection on the subjects of leadership and representation. In this episode of UnMic’d, host Joe Specter is joined by Afton Battle, General Director of Fort Worth Opera and Deborah Borda, the Linda and Mitch Hart President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic, to discuss how these remarkable arts leaders reached the roles in which they serve today. What journey did they take as women in an industry led primarily by men? What obstacles did they face overtime in their rise into leadership? What advice do they have for future leaders, aspiring to follow in their footsteps? Come be inspired with us as Afton and Deborah share their stories and the impact they are continuing to have on the arts community.
1 hr 2 min
Aug 10, 2021
UnMic'd - The Festival Effect
There are few performing arts events that capture the imagination as much as the “music festival.” Pop music festivals—and opera festivals alike!—ignite the senses, from the excitement of experiencing a broad range of artists, to the opportunity to bond socially with fellow cultural thrill-seekers. In this episode of UnMic’d, host Joe Specter is joined by David Devan, General Director of Opera Philadelphia and Festival O20, and David Beame, Vice President of Global Events & Experiences for Global Citizen, and partner at the entertainment law firm of Beame & Mencher LLP. Join Arizona Opera, as David Devan and David Beame discuss with Joe the magic of the festival experience, and the mission driven focus of their organizations. What possesses someone to take on the mammoth challenge of running these complex festivals, what are the greatest rewards, and what is the future of the festival as we emerge from the pandemic? Come with us to learn how Global Citizen and Opera Philadelphia think about these questions, and how the “festival” helps these organizations reach their respective goals of international impact. Find the blurry edge with us once again on this episode of UnMic’d!
Jul 27, 2021
UnMic'd - Rockin' with the Doc-Stars
Top performers in fields that require great physical feats—whether they are on the opera stage or the football field—rely on the best guidance from the ever-growing field of medicine in order to keep them functioning at the highest level. In this episode of UnMic’d, host Joe Specter is joined by renowned New York otolaryngologist Dr. Gwen Korovin, who keeps many of the world's top entertainers in good voice, and Dr. Michael Lee, the former head team physician and orthopedic surgeon for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Cardinals. Join Arizona Opera, as Dr. Korovin and Dr. Lee discuss with Joe their passion for treating high performers in their respective fields, how they achieve high performance themselves every day, and what formative experiences in their youth drove each physician to their specialty. It's a fascinating behind-the-scenes discussion of the life of the medical professionals that help make great athleticism—on the stage and on the field—possible for the enjoyment of the ardent fans of opera and sports alike. Find the blurry edge with us once again on this episode of UnMic’d!
Jul 13, 2021
UnMic'd- The Divo and the Divas
In this episode of UnMic’d, host Joe Specter is joined for a spirited discussion by three world-renowned singers, each a part of an internationally-celebrated vocal quartet: Lauren Kinhan, a member of New York Voices and a jazz vocalist who has released four highly acclaimed solo albums; David Miller, a member of the multi-platinum selling quartet Il Divo, who is also an opera singer and starred in Baz Luhrman’s La bohème on Broadway; and Janis Siegel, a nine-time Grammy Award-winning member of the iconic jazz voice quartet, The Manhattan Transfer. When it comes to these acclaimed artists, thought-provoking questions and answers abound. How do they balance their individual artistic voice in with their ensemble collaboration? How do their seemingly different singing styles relate to one another? And – inquiring minds want to know! – if they were judging a vocal competition such as American Idol, are they Simon, Randy, or Paula?! All of these answers – and more – will be revealed in this episode of Arizona Opera’s UnMic’d.
Jun 29, 2021
UnMic'd- Everybody's Opera Fighting
There are few experiences that capture the essence of human drama as powerfully as opera and prize fighting. Join host, Joe Specter, as he explores the connection between these two seemingly distant worlds on the next episode of UnMic’d. Joe is joined by one of the most dominant trainers in MMA, Greg Jackson of Jackson Wink MMA, whose gym has prepared some of the world’s greatest professional MMA fighters, such as Jon Jones and Holly Holm; Joe Isenberg, an accomplished fight choreographer who has worked with opera companies including Washington National Opera and The Metropolitan Opera, and has won awards including the 2013 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Choreography, and The Kennedy Center Kenan Fellowship; and George Birkadze, an internationally recognized dancer and choreographer with Boston Ballet who works around the globe, and who is also a martial arts expert with black belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kyokushin-kai Karate, and Judo. How do the worlds of opera, dance, and stage combat connect to the raw reality of the Octagon? How does preparing for the ring differ from preparing for the stage? You’ll also discover more about what we know everyone is wondering – if you had to have a street fight with a character from an opera or ballet, which character would you choose, and why?
Jun 15, 2021
UnMic'd - In the Score Where it Happens
In the premiere episode of Arizona Opera’s new video series, UnMic’d, Arizona Opera President and General Director, Joe Specter, is joined by Alex Lacamoire, the multi-talented and award-winning music director, arranger, and composer best known for his work on Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and In the Heights. Also joining Joe in this exciting new “idea exchange” forum is the award-winning composer, Clint Borzoni, best known for his work on The Copper Queen, When Adonis Calls, and My Life as a Bald Soprano. How do these two professionals connect to each other, and to the world of opera? Join us as we “dive deep” into understanding how orchestration factors into a composer’s overall career, how music writers gain the trust it takes to hand over their work to be orchestrated, and learn these two music professionals’ thoughts on the ever-burning question, “Just what IS the difference between musical theater and opera?”
May 24, 2021
Episode 8: Meet the Stage Manager (Keeper of the Spike Tape)
Join Cassie & Kathleen as they meet Keri Muir, Arizona Opera’s Production Stage Manager. Learn how Keri came to Arizona Opera and why the Stage Manager is such a vital and pivotal role in every theatrical production. Find out the difference between stage management tasks during rehearsals versus during performances, learn what spike tape is and discover why Stage Managers would have giant balls of it.
Apr 26, 2021
Episode 7: Meet the Costume Designer (When Parachutes are Dresses)
Join Cassie & Kathleen as they meet Alice Fredrickson, the Costume Designer for our upcoming The Copper Queen Film. Learn how Alice ended up being a costume designer for an opera company, get some insight into the design process, discover the differences between costume design for film and stage, and learn when a parachute might indeed be a dress!
Mar 26, 2021
Episode 6: Meet the Props Supervisor (From Lipstick Tubes to Tables)
Join Cassie & Kathleen as they meet Alanna Maniscalco, the Props Supervisor for Arizona Opera. Learn the difference between a prop and a costume prop, find out where Alanna worked before she joined Arizona Opera, and learn why a props person might have to take a light saber apart and then make it shoot confetti.
Feb 22, 2021
Episode 5: Meet the Wig & Makeup Manager (Ketchup Bottles of Blood)
Join Cassie & Kathleen as they chat with Alita Lopez, Arizona Opera’s Wig & Makeup Manager. Learn how Alita came to Arizona Opera and what the Wig & Makeup Department do for each production, find out how much work actually goes into each and every wig onstage, learn what ventilating is and hear how ketchup bottles of blood can make all the difference to a show.
Dec 29, 2020
Behind the Scenes! Episode 4 - Meet Painter/Dyer, Shelby Joiner (The Fairy Godmother of Fabric
Join Cassie & Kathleen as they chat with Shelby Joiner the First Hand and Painter/Dyer of Arizona Opera’s Costume Shop. Learn about Shelby’s journey from an Arizona Opera intern to a full-time staff member of the Costume Shop, find out how she works her magic with dyes and paints to create the beautiful pieces you’ve seen in Riders of the Purple Sage and Madame Butterfly, discover what exactly goes in to making new costumes look dirty or bloody, and find out what the heck a First Hand actually does.
Nov 30, 2020
Behind the Scenes! Episode 3: Meet the Studio Artists, Part 1 (Piano Robots)
Join Cassie & Kathleen as they chat with two of the 2020/21 Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artists. Learn just how much the studio pianist does in a season, find out what a “pants role” is, discover why a good accompanist isn’t just a piano robot, and find out more about the inner workings of an opera’s rehearsal process.
Oct 26, 2020
Behind the Scenes! Episode 2 - Meet the Scene Shop (When Set Pieces Fly)
Join Cassie and Kathleen as they meet two of the members of the Arizona Opera Scenic Shop. Learn what a Technical Director actually is; what it means when set pieces "fly;" get insight into the magic of scenery changes during a performance; and learn who "tied down all those road boxes!"
Sep 28, 2020
Behind the Scenes Episode 1: Meet the 2020/21 Costume Apprentices (No Cheese for Karen)
Join Cassie and Kathleen as they meet two of the 2020/21 Arizona Opera Costume Apprentices. Learn what an apprentice is, where they went to school, and why they want to be involved with Arizona Opera. Get a "sneak peek" into some of the costume details for the upcoming "The Copper Queen" film, and learn if there is indeed, no cheese for Karen.
Sep 28, 2020
Behind The Scenes! A Podcast - Meet the Hosts
Meet Cassie Robel & Kathleen Trott as they introduce this podcast series. Learn if they are originally from Arizona and why they are hosting this podcast.
May 18, 2020
Becoming an Opera Singer
Ever wonder what it takes to become a professional opera singer? In this episode, Head of Music and Director of the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio, Christopher Cano, tells us more about the rigorous training process, and how Arizona Opera helps young artists along the path to a successful career.
May 6, 2020
Inside the Costume Shop
This episode takes us behind the scenes and into the Marlu Allan and Scott Stallard Costume Artisan Workshop. Arizona Opera Costume Shop Manager, Kathleen Trott, tells us about the process behind costume design and creation, and the people that are bringing these costumes to life.
Apr 21, 2020
Arizona Opera reaches over 50,000 students each year with special performances and in-school programs aimed at inspiring a new generation of opera audiences and arts lovers. In this episode we'll hear how these programs come to life, and how children are often the most enthusiastic opera goers.
Feb 25, 2020
Riders of the Purple Sage
After its sold out world premiere production in 2017, Riders of the Purple Sage is back on the Arizona Opera season by popular demand. In this episode, we hear from composer Craig Bohmler and librettist Steven Mark Kohn about their inspiration and process for bringing this epic western to the opera stage.
Jan 20, 2020
With Arizona Opera's performances of La Boheme right around the corner, we discuss the music and characters within Puccini's hit opera that make it one of the most beloved audience favorites of all time.
Nov 5, 2019
Ahead of upcoming performances of Fellow Travelers, we talk with some of the artists responsible for creating and performing this brilliant work which depicts a forbidden love story amidst the 1950s Lavender Scare.
Sep 24, 2019
The opera Shining Brow follows a tumultuous period in the life of famed architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, which included a public affair and even murder. This episode features an interview with Shining Brow's composer, Daron Hagen, who gives us behind the scenes details on the opera and how it came to life.
Apr 23, 2019
Così fan tutte
Our season finale features members of the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio talking about their upcoming performances of Mozart's Così fan tutte. We hear about the intricacies of bringing Mozart's characters and music to life, as well as what it's like to be a member of the Arizona Opera Studio.
Mar 28, 2019
The Marriage of Figaro
A look inside Arizona Opera's upcoming performances of The Marriage of Figaro, this episode features musicologist and Mozart fanatic, Naomi Barrettara, in addition to Arizona Opera Head of Music, Christopher Cano.
Feb 25, 2019
Inside Look: Silent Night
The Great War rages. It is 1914 and Europe has descended into darkness. On Christmas Eve, British, French, and German soldiers agree to a truce across the trenches. Based on inspiring true events and adapted from the film Joyeux Noel (2005), this Pulitzer Prize-winning opera explores the human cost of war, and the ultimate price of peace. In this podcast episode we hear from the creators of the opera, in addition to the artists that bring it to life.