Posted inInterview

Depth Psychology

The German mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier performed her last Kundry, a complex figure from Wagner’s “Parsifal,” on March 28 at the Staatsoper in Berlin. On April 10, she will receive one of five Opera News Awards at The Plaza in New York. We spoke with her, in the middle of her final preparations, about Wagner, “updated” […]

Posted inInterview

Patriarchal Structures

This interview took place in November 2015, and is reproduced here in an abridged version. We spoke with Neuwirth about the persistence of the patriarchy in classical music, the new generation of women composers, and her recent and older works. VAN: I feel there’s an imbalance between the genders in our musical society. Are quotas […]

Posted inPlaylist

An Olga Neuwirth Playlist

Malaria! – “Geld/Money” In the 1980s, I was a punk living in the Austrian countryside, and I couldn’t wait to trade alpine meadows for a big, rough city. This all-girl band from Berlin made provocative, social-political, tough-as-nails songs; they inspired me to be loud, and ironic, and stir things up in my uptight environment.  Besides […]

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Stay Worried

I first met Betsy Jolas, a distinguished composer with a nearly 70-year career, in 2005. I had received a scholarship to attend the Academie Villecroze in Provence, France, and performed a piece of hers there. The work was “Mon Ami,” for a pianist; it’s unique in that the pianist sings, her voice melding with the […]

Posted inPlaylist

A Barbara Hannigan Playlist

On February 4, 5, and 6, the soprano Barbara Hannigan will perform Hans Abrahamsen’s “let me tell you,” with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons, conductor. Here is her introduction to this playlist, which she uses to inhabit her role of Shakespeare’s Ophelia. “For many of the major pieces I perform, I make a […]

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Queen Of The Gods

“My heart is aghast, / my mind’s in a whirl” sings Fricka, goddess of marriage, hearth, home, and family, faced with her husband Wotan’s latest disruption to their family life. In Richard Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen,” the queen and king of the gods struggle over how to manage their and other people’s marriages, unruly […]

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