If you are like me you love articles with lists, i.e., top ten lists, 5 things you should know about X lists, the 7 best foods for you lists, etc. It is also fun to see lists of up and coming young talent. Well, here are two lists from opera authority, Fred Plotkin, that are of that type, his list of 15 great male opera singers under 40 and his list of 25 great female opera singers under 40. I am just getting to know Mr. Plotkin’s background, but he is a writer/blogger for Operavore, the author of Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera, and has served as a performance manager for Met Opera. So, he has reasonable credentials to publish lists, at least for the fun of checking them out. Note that these are "great lists", not “best lists,” and indeed one of his criteria is that he has personally heard them sing. I present them here for your enjoyment and a chance to get to know some of the fine, young performers you might be seeing and hearing in the future. A helpful feature of his lists is that clips of the selectees singing are included for many of the young performers. His lists also make clear the international scope of opera.
His list of great male singers under 40 includes several who have performed in the mid-Atlantic; notably, Steven LaBrie just performed at the Lyric Opera Baltimore and Daniel Brenna will play Siegfried in May in Washington National Opera’s Ring Cycle: http://www.wqxr.org/?utm_source=sharedUrl&utm_medium=metatag&utm_campaign=sharedUrl#!/story/forty-more-under-forty-next-generation-great-opera-singers-part-one/?utm_source=local&utm_medium=treatment&utm_campaign=carousel&utm_content=item2.
His list of female greats under 40 includes Isabelle Leonard whom I heard in Cold Mountain in Philadelphia this year; I especially recommend listening to the clip of Nadine Sierra singing Caro Nome from Rigoletto, one of my favorite operas: http://www.wqxr.org/?utm_source=sharedUrl&utm_medium=metatag&utm_campaign=sharedUrl#!/story/forty-more-under-forty-next-generation-great-opera-singers-part-2/.
Mr. Plotkin makes clear that he produced these lists to make these singers’ names familiar to opera fans, and I commend him for this.