Oprah’s operas?

Thanks to my wife, Anne Midgette, for that title. She ought to trademark it!

And maybe Oprah ought to start promoting opera. Anne thinks so, and so does Jason Hibbard (his own blog is here), who e-mailed as follows, and is happy to have me post his thoughts:

On your point about what Oprah might champion in the music world, opera seems a logical choice. It has a long, glamorous tradition, fabulous people who would make good interview guests (Renee Fleming, Deborah Voigt, Rolando Villazon, etc.), and a text to provide an extra measure of accessibility. In addition to the core repertory, there have been a number of recent operas taken from (North) American literature (“Little Women,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Great Gatsby” – and especially the recent premiere of the Richard Danielpour/Toni Morrison collaboration “Margaret Garner”). Seems likes there’s plenty there for Oprah to work with – maybe she could start with the October premiere of John Adams’ “Doctor Atomic”! (A guy can dream … )

I’d only add that discussing new operas, Oprah Book Club-style, could be tricky, because they’re not performed nationally. I doubt she’d want to launch a project with an opera that’s heard in only one place.

But she could use DVDs, should any be available. And if we’re going to dream, why not a collaboration, in which Oprah would initiate discussion of an opera, which opera companies throughout North America would stage? Opera companies, of course, would have to plan that years in advance, and Oprah might not work that far ahead, but still…it’s worth dreaming about. I’m tempted to get in touch with Oprah, and see what she might like to do.

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