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From NPR Classical

Conductor (and flutist) Nicholas McGegan fell in love with opera as a kid. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Soprano Angela Meade made her professional debut in the role of Elvira in Verdi's Ernani at the Metropolitan Opera. Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera hide caption

itoggle caption Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

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Soprano Galina Vishnevskaya was once caleld the "Russian Maria Callas" for her intense interpretations. Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics hide caption

itoggle caption Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics

Swiss soprano Lisa Della Casa's sweet and silvery voice was perfect for the music of Richard Strauss. Erich Auerbach/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

Can opera survive in an era of shrinking budgets and aging audiences? Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

Ideas & Issues

Is Opera Ailing? Assessing The State Of The Art

A panel of experts takes the pulse of opera today and discuss its possibilities for the future.

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John Adams' Nixon in China, produced at the Metropolitan Opera in January 2011. Left to right: Janis Kelly as Pat Nixon, Teresa S. Herold as the Second Secretary to Mao, James Maddalena as Richard Nixon, Ginger Costa Jackson as the First Secretary to Mao, Russell Braun as Chou En-lai. Ken Howard/Metropoltan Opera hide caption

itoggle caption Ken Howard/Metropoltan Opera

György Ligeti's surreal opera Le Grand Macabre was the hit of the New York Philharmonic's 2009-2010 season, in a semi-staged production that featured Barbara Hannigan (left) as Gepopo and Anthony Roth Costanzo as Prince Go-Go. Chris Lee/New York Philharmonic hide caption

itoggle caption Chris Lee/New York Philharmonic