SHOW NOTES for Why I'm Amped Up! Episode 00

At long last- Amped Up Opera launches its intro Episode, appropriately numbered 00!

In this relatively short intro I detail an explanation for the podcast's title, and how the podcast will work.  

AMPED UP OPERA Podcast is designed for opera lovers and potential opera lovers.  It may spark some inspiration in people who practice the art form, but everyone on the planet who can understand English who has any interest in the art form should be able to tune in or download and be a part of the community this podcast will generate.

There are four basic reasons my team and I feel AMPED UP OPERA is a great title.  Obviously 'amp' comes from 'amplitude' which generated 'amplify', though popular vernacular has created its own definition of 'amped' which more appropriately defines its use in this podcast's title.  In a form used in an urban dictionary entry:  'amped'- Fired up, awaiting the big thrill, ready to roll.

Here are the definitions I promoted on this episode:

1) Amped as in amplitude- its a podcast traveling via radiowaves, satellites, and other technology I have no need to question.

2) I believe the art form of opera gets 'amped up' when it 'amps up'- when technology is used to further the message and the performances of opera.  You are reading a blog about a podcast about opera.... that is awesome!

3) I study my behind off when I'm working on the great music I have the opportunity to conduct.  I can't know too much about it, the composer, and the time period in which they wrote, etc, etc, etc....  The more details I can garner the better.  This podcast is not that- its amped up because it will deal with some of those specifics, but its meant to be more big picture, and instant information that is attainable and exciting.  It would be impossible to cover ALL the details and exciting moments in Madama Butterly in 20 minutes or less, for example.  Instead I intend to pack your 20-30 minutes with a few details and musical moments on which any listener can hang his or her hat.

4)  My interview series on AMPED UP, called IN TUNE, will amp you up because I am interviewing the gifted artists who make opera happen all over the world, and on both sides of the footlights.  They amp me up with their insight and experience, and I know they will amp you up, too!


I will be launching one podcast per week, with the possibility of a bonus track now and again.  You can become a HAPPY AMPER by filling out the form to your right.  This will bring each episode to your email.  Beginning next week, all podcast episodes will be available on iTunes, Stitcher and Libsyn.  They will also be available on the AMPED UP OPERA Facebook page.

There are three series as part of this podcast, which you may elect to hear based on your interest in the art form:

1)  IN TUNE brings you interviews with opera's most fascinating people.  

2) MAKE IT OR BREAK IT will feature discussions of not just great operas, but the very specific moments that make each opera compelling: moments that either tie you to the story or thrill you, or both!. We'll talk about why and how the composer and librettist, even great conductors and vocalists, make those moments real for you.

3) SUPERFANS!  (spoken with a Saturday morning cartoon inflection) will introduce you to opera lovers across the world who go to extremes to witness the art.  In recording these episodes, this look at the civilian side of things has lead to outlandish and heartfelt stories about how opera can touch our hearts. These stories inspire me constantly. Those of us who make opera understand that the listener is a very important element in our work.  You'll have fun listening to these stories.

In this introductory episode I reference a quote by Leonard Bernstein that sheds light on a philosophical belief on which I have based my professional life.  It speaks to the need of our culture to embrace arts for our very survival.

“The point is, art never stopped a war and never got anybody a job.  That was never its function.  Art cannot change events.  But it can change people.  It can affect people so that they are changed… because people are changed by art - enriched, ennobled, encouraged - they then act in a way that may affect the course of events…. by the way they vote, they behave, the way they think.”  -Leonard Bernstein, Los Angele Times interview.

Take this journey with me.  Let's create some empathy through art.  Let's embrace a way of being and a way of seeing that unifies and celebrates our distinctions.  Become a HAPPY AMPER by filling out the form to your right and let's get into this art form and have some fun!!!  


1)  I'm starting every episode of AMPED UP with the Overture from CARMEN.  It thrills me to no end, and represents the exact kickstart I want AMPED UP OPERA to be.

2)  Overture to Wagner's THE FLYING DUTCHMAN.  This is from a live concert I conducted recently.  This work has/had a profound influence on me as a conductor. There will certainly be future podcasts about it.  Harnessing the energy of Wagner, and THE FLYING DUTCHMAN in particular, is a profound responsibility.

3)  This tango music you hear is from Piazzolla's MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES- an opera (or operita) told with the music of tango. It is one of my favorite pursuits. This clip is called FUGA y MISTERIOSO.  The sheer sound of the unique 'bandoneon' is intoxicating.

4) Bernstein's overture to CANDIDE- instant Americana.

5) This is the end of Scene 1 of THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, again from my own concert. It perfectly describes a launch to me- the start of a grand adventure!