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UnMic'd

Explore the blurry edge with us on UnMic’d

UnMic'd Logo

UnMic’d is a new video series produced by Arizona Opera that explores the blurry edge that connects the world of opera to, well, just about everything else. Each episode, Arizona Opera President and General Director, Joseph Specter, will be joined by a recognized professional from the field of opera, together with an individual from another field who engages in similar work. A composer from opera and a composer of pop and musical theater. A stage combat instructor and an instructor of mixed martial arts. A costume designer and a couture fashion designer. The elements of opera are the elements of our everyday lives. Explore the blurry edge with us on UnMic’d.

 

Episode Information:

 

Episode 6: Ceiling Breakers

Release Date: May 18, 2021

    

What does it take to rise to the top of an arts organization? And what does it take to break through the barriers of gender and race in order to reach that peak?

Classical arts organizations across the US—including opera companies and symphony orchestras—are engaged in an important moment of self-reflection on the subjects of leadership and representation.

In this episode of UnMic’d, host Joe Specter is joined by Afton Battle, General Director of Fort Worth Opera and Deborah Borda, the Linda and Mitch Hart President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic, to discuss how these remarkable arts leaders reached the roles in which they serve today. What journey did they take as women in an industry led primarily by men? What obstacles did they face overtime in their rise into leadership? What advice do they have for future leaders, aspiring to follow in their footsteps? Come be inspired with us as Afton and Deborah share their stories and the impact they are continuing to have on the arts community.

 

MEET THE GUESTS:

Afton Battle
AFTON BATTLE
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Deborah Borda
DEBORAH BORDA
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Episode 5: The Festival Effect

Release Date: April 27, 2021

    

There are few performing arts events that capture the imagination as much as the “music festival.”

Pop music festivals—and opera festivals alike!—ignite the senses, from the excitement of experiencing a broad range of artists, to the opportunity to bond socially with fellow cultural thrill-seekers.

In this episode of UnMic’d, host Joe Specter is joined by David Devan, General Director of Opera Philadelphia and Festival O20, and David Beame, Vice President of Global Events & Experiences for Global Citizen, and partner at the entertainment law firm of Beame & Mencher LLP. Join Arizona Opera, as David Devan and David Beame discuss with Joe the magic of the festival experience, and the mission driven focus of their organizations.

What possesses someone to take on the mammoth challenge of running these complex festivals, what are the greatest rewards, and what is the future of the festival as we emerge from the pandemic? Come with us to learn how Global Citizen and Opera Philadelphia think about these questions, and how the “festival” helps these organizations reach their respective goals of international impact.

Find the blurry edge with us once again on this episode of UnMic’d!

 

MEET THE GUESTS:

David Devan
DAVID DEVAN
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David Beame
DAVID BEAME
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Episode 4: Rockin' with the doc-stars

Release Date: April 2, 2021

    

Top performers in fields that require great physical feats—whether they are on the opera stage or the football field—rely on the best guidance from the ever-growing field of medicine in order to keep them functioning at the highest level.

In this episode of UnMic’d, host Joe Specter is joined by renowned New York otolaryngologist Dr. Gwen Korovin, who keeps many of the world's top entertainers in good voice, and Dr. Michael Lee, the former head team physician and orthopedic surgeon for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Cardinals. Join Arizona Opera, as Dr. Korovin and Dr. Lee discuss with Joe their passion for treating high performers in their respective fields, how they achieve high performance themselves every day, and what formative experiences in their youth drove each physician to their specialty.

It's a fascinating behind-the-scenes discussion of the life of the medical professionals that help make great athleticism—on the stage and on the field—possible for the enjoyment of the ardent fans of opera and sports alike.

Find the blurry edge with us once again on this episode of UnMic’d!
 

MEET THE GUESTS:

Dr. Gwen Korovin
DR. GWEN KOROVIN
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Dr. Michael Lee
DR. MICHAEL LEE
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Episode 3: The Divo and the Divas

Release Date: February 23, 2021 

            

In this episode of UnMic’d, host Joe Specter is joined for a spirited discussion by three world-renowned singers, each a part of an internationally-celebrated vocal quartet: Lauren Kinhan, a member of New York Voices and a jazz vocalist who has released four highly acclaimed solo albums; David Miller, a member of the multi-platinum selling quartet Il Divo, who is also an opera singer and starred in Baz Luhrman’s La bohème on Broadway; and Janis Siegel, a nine-time Grammy Award-winning member of the iconic jazz voice quartet, The Manhattan Transfer.

When it comes to these acclaimed artists, thought-provoking questions and answers abound. How do they balance their individual artistic voice in with their ensemble collaboration? How do their seemingly different singing styles relate to one another? And – inquiring minds want to know! – if they were judging a vocal competition such as American Idol, are they Simon, Randy, or Paula?!

All of these answers – and more – will be revealed in this episode of Arizona Opera’s UnMic’d.

 

MEET THE GUESTS:

David Miller Headshot
DAVID
MILLER

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Janis Siegel Headshot
JANIS
SIEGEL

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Lauren Kinhan Headshot
LAUREN
KINHAN

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Episode 2: Everybody’s Opera Fighting

Release Date: January 19, 2021

            

There are few experiences that capture the essence of human drama as powerfully as opera and prize fighting. Join host, Joe Specter, as he explores the connection between these two seemingly distant worlds on the next episode of UnMic’d.

Joe is joined by one of the most dominant trainers in MMA, Greg Jackson of Jackson Wink MMA, whose gym has prepared some of the world’s greatest professional MMA fighters, such as Jon Jones and Holly Holm; Joe Isenberg, an accomplished fight choreographer who has worked with opera companies including Washington National Opera and The Metropolitan Opera, and has won awards including the 2013 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Choreography, and The Kennedy Center Kenan Fellowship; and George Birkadze, an internationally recognized dancer and choreographer with Boston Ballet who works around the globe, and who is also a martial arts expert with black belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kyokushin-kai Karate, and Judo.

How do the worlds of opera, dance, and stage combat connect to the raw reality of the Octagon? How does preparing for the ring differ from preparing for the stage? You’ll also discover more about what we know everyone is wondering – if you had to have a street fight with a character from an opera or ballet, which character would you choose, and why? 

 

MEET THE GUESTS:


GREG
JACKSON

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JOE
ISENBER​​​​G

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GEORGE
BIRKADZE​​​​​

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Episode 1: In the score where it happens

Release Date: November 24, 2020

            
 

In the premiere episode of Arizona Opera’s new video series, UnMic’d, Arizona Opera President and General Director, Joe Specter, is joined by Alex Lacamoire, the multi-talented and award-winning music director, arranger, and composer best known for his work on Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and In the Heights.

Also joining Joe in this exciting new “idea exchange” forum is the award-winning composer, Clint Borzoni, best known for his work on The Copper Queen, When Adonis Calls, and My Life as a Bald Soprano.

How do these two professionals connect to each other, and to the world of opera? Join us as we “dive deep” into understanding how orchestration factors into a composer’s overall career, how music writers gain the trust it takes to hand over their work to be orchestrated, and learn these two music professionals’ thoughts on the ever-burning question, “Just what IS the difference between musical theater and opera?”
 

MEET THE GUESTS:

Alex Lacamoire award-winning music director, arranger, and composer.
ALEX
LACAMOIRE

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CLINT JOSEPH BORZONI is an award- winning composer
CLINT JOSEPH
BORZONI

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UnMic'd's theme song was composed by Martin Bejerano.


 
Arizona Opera is deeply grateful to our 2020/21 Reimagined Season Lead Digital Sponsors, Ron and Kay McDougall.
Lead Digital Sponsorship of Connection Lab provided by Ron and Kay McDougall. Additional sponsorship is made possible, in part, by the Arizona Community Foundation and Manley Films.