The process of casting an opera has been undergoing a metamorphosis over the past 30 years. More emphasis is now put on what the singer looks like and if he or she is believable in the role. Also, there is now a growing priority being placed on acting in operas. The singers, more and more, are not only expected to be accomplished vocalists and musicians, they are also expected to be solid actors.
A large part of the ongoing transformation in the American opera, as a whole, is the fact that theater directors are now frequently directing operas. An interesting side note: the US premiere of The Lighthouse in 1983 was staged by theater director Peter Sellars, who at that point, had never directed an opera before.
Here's our next video, exploring this topic.
Appearing in “MODERN OPERA”: Opera Singer Robert Orth, Conductor Nicole Paiement (Artistic Director of Ensemble Parallèle, Dallas Theater Center Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty, Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, Opera Singer Daniel Sumegi and Opera Singer Andrew Bidlack.
Produced and edited by Emily Trube and Eric Shaddix, along with Michael Warner. Interviews conducted by Gregory Sullivan Isaacs.
Pictured on the cover: Bass baritone Daniel Sumegi, one of the three performers in The Lighthouse. Photo via Bel Canto Global Arts.
The first videos in this series can be viewed here.
Also, Gregory Sullivan Isaacs' feature about the project is here.
And Keith Cerny's Off the Cuff column about creating new opera is here.