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Sondra Radvanovsky, Queen of the Met, on Why Opera Is for Broadway Lovers

first_imgThree-for-OneThough the three operas make up what is now frequently referred to as Donizetti’s “Tudor Trilogy,” the composer did not intend for them to be performed as a collective unit. This is in large part due to the range of vocal technique required; Radvanovsky juggles both a lilting lyric soprano and fiery dramatic coloratura throughout the pieces.While Radvanovsky winkingly doesn’t recommend anyone perform all three concurrently, she observes a connective thread throughout that informs her perspective on the operas as a series: Elizabeth.A child actress plays a young Elizabeth in Anna Bolena, and in Maria Stuarda, she’s Mary Stuart’s fierce rival. “Now I understand why she was such a militant, strong lady—because of all the adversity she went through. I got to see that from the outside, and now, finally playing Elizabeth, I have that vocabulary.” Marathon Training“It’s like her coat of armor,” Radvanovsky says, describing Elizabeth’s (“Elisabetta” in Donizetti’s world) ornate appearance. “She puts it on, and it’s her queen persona.” The role presents a tremendous physical challenge, as the crippling effects of age and resentment threaten her regality.“Temperament and tightness often go together,” Radvanovsky explains. “But if you’re tight, you can’t sing. So I have to have that tension in my body, but not in my voice.” The singer, who’s over two decades younger than Elizabeth at the time of her death, observed her elders’ movement on the street and on film to find that balance. “I have to be aware of how my body works and how Elizabeth’s body worked at that time, and integrate the two.”From the sound of her exercise regime, you’d expect her to be an Olympian, not an opera singer. But they’re not that unlike: “You go to the gym to make sure you have the stamina to breathe in the corsets.” Radvanovsky often memorizes music while on a machine. Metropolitan Opera: Roberto Devereux The radiant Sondra Radvanovsky enters her dressing room at the Metropolitan Opera. Some two hours later, and with the help of a 35-pound gown, liquid latex and—who’d have thought—tissue paper, the soprano, barely recognizable, emerges as Elizabeth I in her final days.The metamorphosis, for the Met’s new production of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, marks the third and final queen Radvanovsky has taken on this season. She previously portrayed Anne Boleyn and Mary Stuart in director David McVicar’s stagings of Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda, respectively. She’s the second singer to perform all three in one season and the first to do so at the Met.Before Roberto Devereux opens on March 24, Broadway.com visited Radvanovsky’s dressing room to witness the transformation and discuss the operatic feat. Show Closed This production ended its run on April 19, 2016 Related Shows Roberto Devereux begins performances at the Metropolitan Opera on March 24. Performances will run through April 19.(Dressing room photos: Caitlin McNaney) View Comments Ugly Is BeautifulRadvanovsky brings a distinct theatricality that may raise the eyebrows of opera’s more devoted patrons. The most jarring examples are her visceral—at times guttural—outbursts of emotion that punch through Donizetti’s bel canto score. Bel canto means “beautiful singing,” but the soprano constantly toys with the balance between beautiful and frightful.“It can be shocking when people hear it,” Radvanovsky says, “but that’s supposed to be the point. There are moments where ugly singing and screaming are required.” With a smirk, she adds, “Not everyone will love it. It’ll be criticized, I’m sure.”Radvanovsky, who studied acting as well as singing, stresses that it’s not entirely about the vocals. “Look past [the singing] and see that these were human beings at the heart,” she advises. “Remember that Elizabeth lived; she breathed. We know a lot about her.” Broadway at the MetThe leap from the Great White Way to the Met is closer than ever as theater directors—including Tony winners Susan Stroman, Bartlett Sher and Michael Mayer—offer a contemporary Broadway sensibility to opera. While these stagings often polarize traditionalists and newer audiences, Radvanovsky encourages the interplay between the two.“[Opera] is a lot like Broadway,” she says, before confessing to previously turning down a Main Stem offer and wanting to try her hand at The King and I or Carousel. “The plot is there, and it’s enthralling. I know I’m an opera singer, but we’re actors, too.”Radvanovsky says there is a stigma surrounding opera, citing the “fat soprano” and “park and bark” tropes. But while those stereotypes fade with new and inventive stagings, opera has to evolve to survive. The first step is exposure: “Getting people to come for the first time is difficult,” she says, “but if people give it one try, they’re really drawn into it.”And for those who are still skeptical? “You went to your first Broadway play or musical at some point, right? Come to opera.” Sondra Radvanovsky in ‘Anna Bolena,’ ‘Maria Stuarda’ & ‘Roberto Devereux'(Photos: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)last_img read more

Coronavirus brings Asia’s booming online lending sector to juddering halt

first_imgThe UK-based company shuttered its India business on April 13, as 10 out of 14 lending partners withdrew their products within three days of the launch of a nationwide lockdown.Alternative lending companies and platforms across Asia are scrambling to raise funds and stave off bankruptcy as they face a wave of bad loans.Sixteen lenders and investors in markets across Asia Pacific said companies were laying off staff and cutting costs to survive.Online lending had been one of the hottest sectors in recent years, as new players bet that a digital approach meant they could lend profitably to entities that banks found too costly or bothersome. The spring started out rosy for the Indian arm of ClearScore, a company that offers online credit scores and loans.Within weeks, the coronavirus pandemic had taken hold, drastically changing the picture for the online lending industry in Asia.“In the second week of March, we were talking about what a great quarter it would be and a month later I had to let go of the team,” said Hrushikesh Mehta, country manager for India at ClearScore. Asian online lenders raised more than US$4 billion in 2017 and 2018, with Indian and Indonesian companies most prominent, according to data provider Tracxn.In India there are nearly 500 online lending start-ups, and roughly 160 in Indonesia, many backed by Chinese money.Some are peer-to-peer platforms (P2P), which match borrowers with individual lenders who hope to earn a higher return on savings; others use their own funds or partner with other institutions. Many combine all three approaches.But as economies across Asia went into lockdown to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, many borrowers defaulted.“I think it is only about 20 to 30 percent of (Indian online lenders) that are well capitalized, and the rest are going to struggle. 70 percent are staring at an existential crisis,” one online lending chief executive said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. “Since the lockdown started, demand is down by 90 percent and lending now is down by 95 percent”.Dima Djani, CEO of sharia-compliant Indonesian business P2P lender ALAMI, described the situation as “natural selection”.“This is a test. Those come out unscathed will be the champions in a more saturated P2P landscape going forward,” he said.Especially vulnerableThe IMF expects Asia to record zero growth for the first time in 60 years, as lockdowns bring service sectors to a halt, exports plunge, and companies and individuals stop spending.Small and medium-sized enterprises and workers in the informal economy have been particularly hard hit. Asia-focused banks including, HSBC and DBS have taken greater provisions against bad loans, but alternative online lenders are worse off than their traditional competitors.Indonesian online lenders had an NPL ratio of 4.22 percent in March, according to data from financial regulator OJK, up from 3.65 percent in December, compared to 2.77 percent for traditional banks.“Most fintech companies provide smaller-sized loans for middle-low borrowers to fill the gap that banks could not reach. This cohort is unfortunately one of the most impacted by the pandemic,” said Markus Rahardja, of BRI Ventures, the corporate venture arm of state-owned Bank Rakyat Indonesia.It is also harder for some lenders to get repaid.“Because everything from the paperwork to lending happens online, consumers find it easier to default,” said Ashvin Parekh, a Mumbai-based independent financial consultant.Online lenders that fall outside the traditional bank regulations have fewer requirements in many markets about how much capital they must have on hand. That makes them more vulnerable to a wave of defaults, said Etelka Bogardi, a Hong Kong-based financial services regulatory partner at law firm Norton Rose Fullbright.Survival of the fittestLenders must decide whether to lend more – there is demand from businesses and individuals desperate for cash – or hunker down.“If you have lots of money and you have reporting requirements, you might choose the approach of issuing more loans,” said Jianggan Li of from Singapore-based venture outfit Momentum Works. “But that’s dangerous, the minute the loans are issued, people can’t pay back on time.”Abheek Anand, head of Southeast Asian investments at Sequoia Capital, told a DealStreet Asia event he had warned portfolio companies to be careful and avoid temptation.More cash is necessary for either strategy. But venture capital funds invested just $388 million in online lenders in Asia in the year to May, a sharper decline than overall fintech investment.“The last thing I want to be getting into at the moment is online lending,” said one China-based VC investor. “It’s just one turn of the glass and you go from being the good guy supporting microfinance, to backing loan sharks.”Topics :last_img read more

Batesville ‘State-of-the City’ date announced

first_imgBatesville, In. — Mayor Mike Bettice will present his State of the City Address on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Batesville Middle School Commons, 201 N. Mulberry Street, Batesville.This informative meeting will review the City’s 2018 Finances, the 2019 Budget and include a discussion on future projects and initiatives.This meeting is open to the public.   For more information click here. or contact the Mayor’s office, 812-933-6100.last_img

Celtic appoint Gavin Strachan coach

first_imgRelatedPosts Joe Aribo out of Super Eagles friendlies Celtic given tricky tie in UEFA Champions League qualifiers, Red Star drawn away Unknown Nigerian declares for Republic of Ireland Celtic have appointed Gavin Strachan – son of former Parkhead boss Gordon Strachan – as their new first-team coach.The 41-year-old replaces Damien Duff, who left to take up a role with the Republic of Ireland. Strachan had been Darren Ferguson’s assistant manager at Peterborough and Celtic paid compensation to secure his release.He will now work under Neil Lennon and assistant boss John Kennedy.Strachan said: “It is a huge honour to be appointed to this position with Celtic, such a giant of a club and a real iconic footballing institution – this really is an opportunity I could simply not turn down.“I am hugely excited about getting started with Neil, John and the players as we get ready for the challenges ahead.“Neil and John have been massive figures in the club’s nine-in-a-row journey and it will be fantastic to be part of such a great management and coaching team. “The club has had a phenomenal run of success in recent years and I know everyone at Celtic and our supporters will be doing all we can, together, to keep this run going.“I know we are looking ahead to a really exciting season and for me personally, it is a great time to join this brilliant club. I will work my hardest every day to bring success to the club.”Lennon, who played under Strachan’s father for Celtic, added: “We are delighted to bring Gavin to Celtic, he is a brilliant appointment for us and someone I know will work really well with myself, John Kennedy, the players and the rest of our backroom team.“We had a number of options for the role but Gavin was the outstanding candidate.“He is a really talented, experienced, hard working and respected coach and I know he has the right qualities to make a great contribution to the club. We are all really pleased to welcome Gavin to our team.” The Aberdeen-born former midfielder began his playing career under his father at Coventry, and had loan spells with Dundee and Motherwell before playing for the likes of Hartlepool and Notts County.He began his coaching career at Peterborough and returned there in 2018 following a spell as Ferguson’s assistant at Doncaster.Tags: CelticDamien DuffGavin StrachanRepublic of Irelandlast_img read more

The incredible Clippers meltdown: The stunned reaction

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Clippers had a chance to reach the Western Conference finals for the first time in team history – then imploded Thursday night against the Rockets. Lakers fans seemed to have little sympathy. Here’s how the internet responded. Viewing on mobile? See reaction here.last_img

Bombers Rugby salutes year end winners

first_imgThe end of the school term means time to hand out athletic awards at L.V. Rogers High School.Two Bombers garnering top honours were Grade 12 players Simon Yole and Simon Yole and Mariah Maglio. Yole, powerful, high work rate, durable and commited, captured the Most Valuable Player award for the Bombers Rugby side.Yole also was the Commissioner’s Winner at B.C. High School Rugby Championships in Abottsford.Meanwhile, on the girl’s circuit, Maglio topped the awards by winning the Most Valuable Player for the Bombers.Maglio was the leading scorer with amazing speed and gifted offensive abilities.Other award winners for the Bombers Rugby include Rookie of the Year: Emma Schrader and Jef Vreys while Tiffany Markin and Brandon Sagal were Coaches Award winners.last_img read more