Midday on Music II: Maryland Opera's "Puccini at the Pendry" | WYPR

Midday on Music II: Maryland Opera's "Puccini at the Pendry"

Apr 5, 2019

The original 1896 poster for the Giacomo Puccini opera, La Boheme.
Credit poster image from musicwithease.com

In Part I of today's Midday on Music program, we talked about some of the financial challenges the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is experiencing.   In Part II of our program today, we're going to consider the unique challenges facing Baltimore's opera community

As expensive as it is to assemble and rehearse a world class symphony orchestra, it’s even more expensive to stage a grand opera.  Not only do you need an orchestra, you need a cast of principal singers, a chorus, costumes, a set, a lighting designer, a director, multiple stage-hands and more to create that magical world where people sing on stage as naturally as the rest of us speak in real life. 

Those are just some of the reasons that it’s been hard in recent years for Grand Opera to succeed in Baltimore.  After nearly seven decades, the Baltimore Opera Company went out of business in 2009.  Its successor, the Lyric Opera of Baltimore shuttered its doors in 2017.  And now, one of the area’s most accomplished operatic artists is hoping that three times is the charm.  James Harp is the founder and artistic director of Maryland Opera.  He joins Tom in Studio A, along with local opera soprano, Colleen Daly, to talk about Maryland Opera's inaugural season.

Soprano Colleen Daly and Maryland Opera founder James Harp
Credit Daly photo by Crystal Werner; James Harp

You can catch the Company’s presentation of Puccini at the Pendry at the Sagamore Pendry Hotel in Fells Point, Sunday, April 7th at 3:00pm.   Click here for more information.

This conversation was livestreamed on WYPR's Facebook page, and you can watch the video here, beginning at 24:00 into the stream.