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By PETER BAKER | March 1, 1994
Mark Schrader and Dan McConnell are having a late breakfast in a hotel coffee shop along the Annapolis waterfront and talking about the past, present and future of the BOC Challenge, a sailing race that every four years sends competitors around the world alone.Together they are the brain trust of a BOC publicity tour, and from each there are different insights into the workings of a sailing race that after 12 years is beginning to beat its way into public awareness.McConnell, media operations director and a marketing specialist, brings a soft sell and a forecast of increasing American interest in such ventures.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | October 8, 2007
In our oh-so-enlightened times, the concept that life means being caught up in a hideous, inexorable whirl of events beyond all reason and control might not get a lot of takers. But this notion struck the imagination of many people in centuries past, and struck hard. This helps account for quite a few operas with plots propelled almost entirely by cruel bursts of fate. There is no finer example of this type than Verdi's La forza del destino. If you go La forza del destino will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8:15 p.m. Friday, and 3 p.m. Sunday at Lyric Opera House, 110 W. Mount Royal Ave. $46 to $132, 410-727-6000, baltimoreopera.
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FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | November 4, 1990
When Michael Harrison became general director of the Baltimore Opera Company a year and a half ago, he was told by the board that hired him to improve the company's quality."
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,sun music critic | March 26, 2007
When it comes to light entertainment in the opera house, Bedrich Smetana's The Bartered Bride delivers it as engagingly and tunefully as any other comedy in the repertoire. For a winning demonstration of that quality, check out the Baltimore Opera Company's first-ever production of this Czech charmer. Just about everything came together neatly for the opening performance Saturday night at the Lyric Opera House. The cast, given an idiomatic boost from Czech artists in two key roles and directed breezily by James McNamara, made a smooth ensemble effort and, by and large, sang in bright, confident style.
FEATURES
By Ernest F. Imhoff and Ernest F. Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff | October 19, 1990
The Baltimore Opera Company must raise $270,000 in cash from individual and corporate donors by Dec. 31 or cancel its last two productions of the year, Verdi's "Un Ballo in Maschera" and Puccini's "Madama Butterfly," BOC officials said yesterday.Overall, the company has an accumulated deficit of $840,000 and needs to raise $1 million by June 31, 1991, or face bankruptcy. Donors have already given $400,000 in cash and pledges with and without strings, so $600,000 is still needed by next June.
NEWS
By Eric Siegel | December 28, 1990
The Baltimore Opera Company, facing a year-end deadline, is expected to announce today that it has reached a $1 million emergency fund-raising goal, enabling it to avoid bankruptcy.As of yesterday, the opera had raised more than $900,000, sources said. Details on the donation of the remaining funds were expected to be worked out last night or early this morning, they said."We expect to have a positive announcement [today]," Michael Harrison, the opera's general director, said late yesterday.
FEATURES
By Eric Siegel | October 18, 1990
The Baltimore Opera Company says it must raise an additional $600,000 in cash and pledges by the end of December to meet a $1 million goal or be bankrupt before the end of its current 40th anniversary season.Officials said yesterday that the BOC -- founded by the renowned diva Rosa Ponselle -- must collect $500,000 of the total fund-raising goal in cash by the end of the year in order to stage the final two productions on its 1990-'91 schedule."If we don't meet our goal by the end of December, we will have to close the doors.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | November 25, 1990
The hopes of local opera lovers were shattered earlier this year when the Baltimore Opera Company announced that its financial difficulties necessitated canceling a production of Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde" and replacing it with performances of a much less expensive all-Wagner concert. What softened the blow was not that the concerts, which begin Friday, would be sung by the same cast hired for "Tristan," but that the concert would still be conducted by Alexander Sander.Outside the Baltimore opera community, the 48-year-old Viennese is hardly a household word -- he is, in fact, almost unknown in this country.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 20, 2003
For Giuseppe Verdi, the idea of a cruel fate pushing terribly fallible humans into one emotional and physical abyss after another seemed perfectly sensible. No wonder this composer, who famously declared that "death is all there is to life," found incomparable inspiration for such gloomy tragedies as Rigoletto, La forza del destino and Il trovatore. The latter, with its tale of barbecued gypsies and babies, suicide and fratricide, is the quintessential - and certainly most tuneful - fatalistic opera of them all. Trovatore's power as music and theater is being driven home, almost always persuasively, in the Baltimore Opera Company's new production, which opened Saturday night at the Lyric Opera House.
SPORTS
By PETER BAKER | July 11, 1993
After he set a course record and won the single-handed leg of the recent Bermuda One-Two sailing race, Tim Troy said he was reasonably certain he had a fast boat. After he won the double-handed leg back to Newport, R.I., as well, he said he was certain of it.Now the questions facing the Baltimore businessman from Crownsville are how to make it faster, stronger and safer in time for the BOC Challenge, a single-handed race around the world."That first leg was a great feeling," Troy said last week.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 22, 2004
Two sopranos dying of consumption, another prone to sleepwalking, and a baritone facing capital punishment by lethal injection - all part of the action planned for the Baltimore Opera Company's 2005-2006 season. Particularly noteworthy is the local premiere of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, which has enjoyed remarkable success with the public and the press since it was introduced by the San Francisco Opera in 2000. Baltimore Opera joined six other companies to fund the compact, visually potent co-production that will be seen at the Lyric Opera House in March 2006.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 3, 2004
The Baltimore Opera Company's solid, comfort-food serving of Bizet's Carmen arrived at the Lyric Opera House Saturday night not quite piping hot, but still nourishing. First-timers will get a very good idea of why this work remains so popular. And the production, with sets and costumes originally created for New York City Opera, will certainly please those who took offense at the company's last Carmen, a modernist staging in 1998. This time, scenery by Paul Shortt and costumes by Eduardo V. Sicangco follow a reassuring, traditional path.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 20, 2003
For Giuseppe Verdi, the idea of a cruel fate pushing terribly fallible humans into one emotional and physical abyss after another seemed perfectly sensible. No wonder this composer, who famously declared that "death is all there is to life," found incomparable inspiration for such gloomy tragedies as Rigoletto, La forza del destino and Il trovatore. The latter, with its tale of barbecued gypsies and babies, suicide and fratricide, is the quintessential - and certainly most tuneful - fatalistic opera of them all. Trovatore's power as music and theater is being driven home, almost always persuasively, in the Baltimore Opera Company's new production, which opened Saturday night at the Lyric Opera House.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 13, 2002
The third time really can be the charm. After two efforts hindered by casting and/or directorial inconsistencies, the Baltimore Opera Company has come up with a fresh, winning spin on Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus. Imaginatively conceived, costumed and directed by John Lehmeyer and housed in Gary Eckhart's pleasant sets, this new production wastes no time going for the slapstick. With a game cast and stylish conductor, the musical rewards come just as quickly. The mood here is determinedly light and rollicking, fueled by the vintage translation by Howard Dietz and Garson Kanin of the original German libretto.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 11, 2002
The musical enticements of Leo Delibes' Lakme were reconfirmed Wednesday night as the Baltimore Opera Company continued its season-opening production. The scenery looked just as lackluster, the stage direction just as uninspired, but some vocal sparks onstage offered considerable compensation. Youngouk Shin revealed admirable sensitivity in the title role, both in her singing and in her characterization. She made a valiant effort to give Lakme genuine depth; this was no super-cliched bit of exotica.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 30, 1998
In 1851, when Richard Wagner was already at work on what would become his masterpiece, "Der Ring des Nibelungen" -- the almost insanely ambitious operatic tetralogy that attempted to narrate the history of the world from creation to apocalypse -- he looked back upon his "Der fliegende Hollander" ("The Flying Dutchman") of 10 years before."Thus began my career as a poet and my farewell to the mere manufacture of opera texts," he wrote in "A Communication to My Friends," one of those publications that frequently demonstrated the composer's belief that the world was as interested in Richard Wagner as Wagner was in himself.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | October 8, 2007
In our oh-so-enlightened times, the concept that life means being caught up in a hideous, inexorable whirl of events beyond all reason and control might not get a lot of takers. But this notion struck the imagination of many people in centuries past, and struck hard. This helps account for quite a few operas with plots propelled almost entirely by cruel bursts of fate. There is no finer example of this type than Verdi's La forza del destino. If you go La forza del destino will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8:15 p.m. Friday, and 3 p.m. Sunday at Lyric Opera House, 110 W. Mount Royal Ave. $46 to $132, 410-727-6000, baltimoreopera.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 12, 1996
A is in love with B, who detests him but loves C, who only feels for her what he would for a sister, but who loves D with such passion that he practically sweats when he thinks about her. Unfortunately, D, who returns C's love, is married to E, a sadist in love with nothing except his twisted idea of family honor. Replace those five letters with the words baritone, soprano, tenor, mezzo-soprano and bass, add a contralto as the soprano's blind mother, and you've got the essentials of the plot of Amilcare Ponchielli's opera, "La Gioconda."
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 12, 1996
A is in love with B, who detests him but loves C, who only feels for her what he would for a sister, but who loves D with such passion that he practically sweats when he thinks about her. Unfortunately, D, who returns C's love, is married to E, a sadist in love with nothing except his twisted idea of family honor. Replace those five letters with the words baritone, soprano, tenor, mezzo-soprano and bass, add a contralto as the soprano's blind mother, and you've got the essentials of the plot of Amilcare Ponchielli's opera, "La Gioconda."
SPORTS
By PETER BAKER | March 26, 1995
On April 1, when a fleet of sailboats leaves Punta del Este, Uruguay, for the last leg of the BOC Challenge, it is possible -- perhaps probable -- that the Henry Hornblower will not be among them.The Hornblower, a 40-foot cutter skippered by a 70-year-old Englishman named Harry Mitchell, has been neither seen nor heard from since March 2, when one of the boat's two emergency radio beacons was activated.On March 2, Mitchell and his boat were 1,450 miles west of Cape Horn -- 56 degrees, 35 minutes south; 114 degrees, 20 minutes west -- in the cold, desolate reaches of the South Pacific.
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