Opera News magazine has a new one, ripe for discussion, in its August 2006 issue — "The 25 Most Powerful Names in U.S. Opera" — two dozen plus one influential individuals (well, mostly individuals) divided into categories: The Executives, The Image-Makers, The Maestros, The Media and so on.
So, who are these people?
You have the expected, of course: the chiefs of the four biggest opera companies (and eight of largest 10), high-powered agents from IMG and CAMI, the two maestros named James (Levine and Conlon), "The Diva" (Ren_e), and, naturally, The New York Times (collectively).
But there are a few surprises, too. Plšcido Domingo makes the list (twice) as an executive, not as a tenor. Up on the conductor's podium with the Jameses is Stephen Lord, music director of the small but innovative companies in Boston and St. Louis. Deborah Voigt isn't there as a diva — she's an Image-Maker, her kerfuffle with Covent Garden and subsequent weight loss having received reams of mainstream media coverage, most of it favorable, all over the world.
Perhaps most surprisingly in 2006, a prime-time, major-network television show features in a discussion of opera at all.
And there's an honest-to-goodness ghost on the list.
(We'll never be free of her, will we? Would we want to be?)
Naturally, a lot of the discussion Opera News's "Power 25" list generates will be complaints about who's not there. (A favorite sport of opera fans, that.) Why Ren_e alone of all divas? Where's [insert name of your favorite critic]? Why only three Geniuses? And why those three?
The August issue of Opera News, featuring "The 25 Most Powerful Names in U.S. Opera," goes on sale Monday, July 17.
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The 25 Most Powerful Names In U.S. Opera
Profiled in the August 2006 Issue of Opera News
Plšcido Domingo, Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera
Anthony Freud, Houston Grand Opera
Richard Gaddes, Santa Fe Opera
Peter Gelb, The Metropolitan Opera
David Gockley, San Francisco Opera
Speight Jenkins, Seattle Opera
William Mason, Lyric Opera of Chicago
Matthew A. Epstein, Columbia Artists Management
Alec C. Treuhaft, IMG Artists
Ronald Wilford, Columbia Artists Management
James Conlon, Los Angeles Opera
James Levine, The Metropolitan Opera and Boston Symphony Orchestra
Stephen Lord, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Boston Lyric Opera
Patrick Summers, Houston Grand Opera
Edgar Vincent, Vincent & Farrell Associates, Inc.
Deborah Voigt, soprano
John Adams, composer
Peter Sellars, director
Julie Taymor, director and designer
Maria Callas, legend
The New York Times
Tim Page, journalist
Evans Mirageas, Cincinnati Opera