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Editor’s Note Front of House

EDITORIAL Phone +44 (0)20 7738 5454 Email Editor Hattie Butterworth Associate Editor Helena Matheopoulos Consultant Editor Keith Clarke Contributing Editors Francis Muzzu, Tom Sutcliffe Robert Thicknesse (UK), Francis Carlin (France), James Imam (Italy), Karyl Charna Lynn (USA), Andrew Mellor (Scandinavia), Ken Smith (Far East) Design Daniela Di Padova, Louise Wood ADVERTISING Phone +44 (0)20 7333 1716 Title Manager Liam-Rhys Jones, Advertising Production Daniela DiPadova, +44 (0)20 7333 1727, SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BACK ISSUES Phone UK 0800 137201 Overseas +44(0)1722 716997 Email Subscriptions Manager Bethany Foy UK Subscription Rate £80 PUBLISHING Phone +44(0)20 7738 5454 Commercial Manager Esther Zuke Marketing & Events Director Tony Hill Head of Marketing John Barnett Group Institutional Sales Manager Jas Atwal Production Director Richard Hamshere Circulation Director Sally Boettcher Editorial Director Martin Cullingford Managing Director Paul Geoghegan Chief Executive O cer Ben Allen Chairman Mark Allen

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What can competitions contribute to artists and their careers?

Welcome to August’s issue of Opera Now, celebrating the remarkable talent, creativity and history of opera in the USA. The issue began by sitting down with cover star mezzo Jamie Barton to explore more of her inner world. 10 years have elapsed since I remember watching Jamie win the 2013 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition – and the last month has seen another Cardiff Singer competition full of excitement, deservedly won by Italian bass Adolfo Corrado.

But competitions are something that bring up complex emotions, especially for those trained in performing. They can lead to feelings of inadequacy, comparison and failure as artists find it di cult to accept others’ opinions of their musicianship. But for others, it can offer a platform and profile that they might never have achieved. In Jamie Barton’s case, she has transformed her competition success into something generous and lifegiving – raising the platforms of those she believes in and maintaining an authenticity we are seeing more and more, particularly from many of the open-hearted artists of the USA. We also talk to South Korean soprano Hera Hyesang in this issue’s Favourite Things, who has followed success in the 2015 Operalia Competition with achievements around the world. She speaks about the importance of spirituality, accepting the wildness and unpredictability of a career in opera.

Competitions and their importance will, I imagine, always divide opinion, but if they continue to offer a career-changing platform to artists who will go on to contribute something positive both musically and socially significant to our cultural life – as well as engage audiences in a better understanding of how performers achieve the excellence they do, and the breadth of approach that excellence can take – my mind could well be changed about it.

Elsewhere in the issue, we explore a new work at the Copenhagen Opera Festival, The Yellow Wallpaper by the young British composer, Dani Howard in collaboration with director Amy Lane. Another remarkable woman, Grace Bumbry, one who both courageously overcame and helped permanently changed prejudice surrounding race, is celebrated as this month’s Legendary Singer’s feature. We also travel to Magdeburg in Germany to explore an experimental artistic relationship between Swiss director Julien Chavaz and Irish composer Gerald Barry.

ew work at the Copenhagen Opera Festival, sh composer, tor Amy Lane. bry, one who permanently elebrated as We also travel experimental tor Julien y. he other side lity to cross d global unique

Beginning in America, but ending on the other side of the Atlantic demonstrates opera’s ability to cross borders, opening out into an exciting and global artform that weaves our individual and unique roots into a harmonious whole.

Hattie Butterworth

@operanow Opera Now captures the drama, colour and vitality of one of the most powerful of all the performing arts. In our print and digital issues, we showcase the creative spirit of opera, both on stage and behind the scenes, with profiles of opera companies, singers, directors and designers. Our in-depth features reflect how diverse cultural elements have influenced opera, including travel, history, literature, art, architecture, politics and philosophy. Our lively reviews and opinion pages are a platform for writers and critics drawn from all over the world. Our aim is to inspire our opera-loving readers to broaden their knowledge and deepen their passion for this fascinating and stimulating artform.

OperaNow August 2023 3

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