19 episodes

An exciting new podcast by Marc Eliot Stein of Literary Kicks. Why is opera relevant today? This sometimes-lost art form hides a fascinating, vibrant world. In our first episode, we discuss whether Verdi's Otello is better than Shakespeare's Othello, whether Othello had PTSD, and what it means that Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro is an Italian opera by a German Austrian and a Venetian Jew based on a French play that takes place in Spain. Welcome to the first episode of Lost Music: Exploring Literary Opera!

Lost Music: Exploring Literary Opera Marc Eliot Stein

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 9 Ratings

An exciting new podcast by Marc Eliot Stein of Literary Kicks. Why is opera relevant today? This sometimes-lost art form hides a fascinating, vibrant world. In our first episode, we discuss whether Verdi's Otello is better than Shakespeare's Othello, whether Othello had PTSD, and what it means that Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro is an Italian opera by a German Austrian and a Venetian Jew based on a French play that takes place in Spain. Welcome to the first episode of Lost Music: Exploring Literary Opera!

    A Chorus in Brooklyn

    A Chorus in Brooklyn

    There's nothing like singing in an opera chorus. Marc Eliot Stein and Ted Shulman talk about their participation in Regina Opera's production of Verdi's "Rigoletto" in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and the special ways a chorus can illuminate or enliven a classic opera. We chat about "Nabucco", "Turandot", "Parsifal", "Les Contes d'Hoffmann", "Orfeo ed Euridice", "HMS Pinafore" and "Aida", and the conversation also turns to amateur singing, drinking songs, offensive operas, gender of choruses, teamwork, the disastrous 2023 Israel/Gaza war, Lance Loud, reality TV, New York City's 1970s CBGBs punk scene and a mostly (but not completely) forgotten punk band called The Mumps.

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Talking to an Influential Fairy

    Talking to an Influential Fairy

    In Gilbert and Sullivan’s fairy opera “Iolanthe” empowered magical women crash into toxic privileged masculinity in 19th century London. Marc Eliot Stein interviews New York City singer and actress Casey Keeler about her role as the powerful Fairy Queen in a recent Village Light Opera Group "Iolanthe". We also talk about “Utopia, Limited”, community theater, and how New York City's post-COVID opera subculture is staying together through hard times.

    • 1 hr 29 min
    Hoffmann and His Muse

    Hoffmann and His Muse

    Jacques Offenbach’s masterpiece “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” is an existential psychological comic opera, a morality tale about an aesthete who destroys himself over a fanciful love of three women. In the last episode of Season 3, Marc Eliot Stein talks about Jewish composers in Paris, “Faust”, drinking songs, Mozart, Gilbert and Sullivan, Zarzuela, sex dolls, synaesthesia and the opera novels of late New York City writer Richard P. Brickner.

    • 42 min
    Giovanni and Kierkegaard

    Giovanni and Kierkegaard

    What should we do with Mozart’s problematic masterpiece “Don Giovanni” in the 21st century? Vicki Zunitch joins Marc Eliot Stein to talk about the moral situations portrayed in the famous story of a sociopathic charmer and rapist brought to justice by a stone statue, with a focus on all the characters caught in his web: Anna, Elvira, Zerlina, Masetto, Ottavio, the Commendatore and the eternal wingman, Leporello. We also talk about Soren Kierkegaard’s “Either/Or”, Frank Sinatra and Kathryn Grayson in "It Happened in Brooklyn", Tirso de Molina’s “The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest”, Moliere’s “Dom Juan”, the idea of "Carmen" as a reverse gender "Don Giovanni" and a stunningly surreal new version of this opera directed by Romeo Castellucci and choreographed by Cindy Van Acker that premiered in 2021 in Salzburg, Austria.

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Canio and Corleone

    Canio and Corleone

    Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana kicked off the verismo craze in Italian opera in 1890. Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci followed two years later. We talk about the ripple effects of the verismo movement in this wide-ranging episode, covering everything from Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese to Anton Chekhov, Konstantin Stanislavski, Stella Adler and Marlon Brando, along with more Marx Brothers, the Ride of the Valkyries and a surprise appearance by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

    • 41 min
    Manrico and Azucena

    Manrico and Azucena

    Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” is one of the most popular operas of all time, and also one of the hardest to follow. What is going on with this crazy plot? There’s a lot under the surface, and it's all spelled out in this explainer by Marc Eliot Stein, who shows how a thrilling but nakedly horrible storyline became an entertainment fit for 19th century operagoers. This fascinating episode ends with a look at the Marx Brothers “A Night at the Opera”, which joyously tears Verdi’s masterpiece to shreds.

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

Susana Laurie ,

Bravo!

Listened to 1 and 2. Great on so many levels. Thank you.

JodyOdy ,

Opera - Who knew?

I very much enjoyed the first episode of this podcast. Marc clearly knows his subject & presents it in an engaging way. Who knew Opera was so interesting? Looking forward to more!

Top Podcasts In Arts

Fresh Air
NPR
The Moth
The Moth
99% Invisible
Roman Mars
Walk-In Talk Podcast
Carl Fiadini
The Jimmy Dore Show
Jimmy Dore
The Magnus Archives
Rusty Quill