Short Fuse Podcast #36: An Interview with Neal Goren, Conductor and Artistic Director of Catapult Opera
By Elizabeth Howard
Neal Goren, in conversation with the Arts Fuse‘s new podcast host Elizabeth Howard, reflects on contemporary opera: the trends, attracting new audiences, and how opera can be adapted for the internet. He shares his vision for Catapult, the opera company he recently founded, how he became a conductor, and shares with us what he tells music students about their future.
Neal Goren was the founder and artistic director of Gotham Chamber Opera, which popularized and legitimized the formerly ignored genre of chamber opera. His newest opera venture is Catapult Opera, a new company dedicated to communicating the power of opera through unique internet-based media and world-class live performance. As a recital accompanist, Goren has concertized extensively with Leontyne Price, among others. He is an associate professor at Mannes College, The New School for Music, and a frequent judge of national and international vocal competitions. His writings on opera and the arts have appeared in numerous books and periodicals.
Goren’s latest book is Beyond the Aria: Artistic Self-Empowerment for the Classical Singer (Rowman & Littlefield). His goal is to provide singers with the tools to develop an inquisitive and analytical mindset about the artistic details found in scores. The volume takes readers through a careful reading of clues provided by the librettist and composer, informed by performance practice, and empowers singers to make their own valid artistic choices. Sample analyses of six standard arias and songs are provided as a guide for characterization.
Elizabeth Howard is the writer in residence at Randall’s Island Park Alliance and she has been working with the staff to inaugurate a Literary Program. As the inaugural Madeleine L’Engle Fellow at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York (2018-2020) she assisted in the planning and then moderated “Close Conversations,” attracting leading academics, writers, policy experts and journalists to discuss race relations, immigration, education and climate change in an open and inspiring forum.