Carla Dirlikov Canales Receives Major Appointment at The Fletcher School
The Fletcher School at Tufts University has announced the appointment of Carla Dirlikov Canales to the position of Professor of Practice and Senior Fellow at The Edward R. Murrow Center for a Digital World. In her new position, Canales will lead an inaugural diplomacy program which explores how art and culture promote foreign policy objectives.
“Carla Canales brings tremendous expertise in entrepreneurship and cultural diplomacy to Fletcher,” says Kelly Sims Gallagher, academic dean at Fletcher. “Her innovative approach to advancing foreign policy through shared connections across creative arts worldwide is an important addition to Fletcher’s robust international diplomacy curriculum. We are delighted to welcome her to Fletcher.”
The mezzo-soprano has been an Arts Envoy of the U.S. State Department and was also selected by Foreign Policy as one of the “100 Leading Global Thinkers.” Musical America also named her one of the “30 Movers and Shapers” of 2018. She also won the Medal of Excellence from the Sphinx Organization and founded The Canales Project in 2016 with the goal of giving voice to issues of identity and culture through music and conversation.
“I’m deeply honored to have this special opportunity to contribute to Fletcher’s world-class community and their commitment to diplomacy. By harnessing the immense power of the arts, I believe that cultural diplomacy can provide innovative solutions to some of today’s most pressing global challenges. I am looking forward to furthering the education and training in this important field, at such a critical time for global affairs,” Canales said in accepting the position.
Soprano Aundi Marie Moore among Sphinx Organization Medal of Excellence Honorees
The Sphinx Organization has announced the 2023 Sphinx Medals of Excellence Honorees in honor of Black and Latinx Artists. This year’s winners include soprano Aundi Marie Moore, composer Joel Thompson, and cellist Thomas Mesa. Each honoree receives a $50,000 career grant and will be part of the organization’s 25th anniversary season.
“We are overjoyed to celebrate these brilliant artists this year. As thousands of artists were forced off the stage by the pandemic, each of our recipients served as beautiful examples of leadership and service…. [Moore] offered a series of motivational videos to empower her community of fellow artists. The artistic pedigree of these honorees is second to none and their dedication to excellence is authentically synonymous with the ethos of this award,” proclaimed President and Artistic Director of Sphinx Afa S. Dworkin in the announcement.
The winners are set to receive their medals on March 1, 2023, in a gala event at the Kennedy Center.
Major Opera Stars Inducted into the Recording Academy
A number of major opera stars have been invited into the Recording Academy.
This year, the Academy invited over 2,000 people to become voting members of the organization. The announcement was made on June 28 with another 600 artists invited to become professional (nonvoting) members. In sum, there are three types of membership: voting membership for recording creators, professional membership for executives working in support of creators, and GRAMMY U for college students who have hopes of a career in the music industry.
“Building an active and representative membership that embodies our vibrant music community is fundamental to the Recording Academy’s ethos,” says Kelley Purcell, the Recording Academy’s Vice President of Membership & Industry Relations. “Members are the backbone of the Academy. With this new class, we are committed to cultivating local and national leadership to help ensure that a new generation of music creators will be empowered to drive change.”
Joyce El-Khoury Receives The Dallas Opera’s Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award
The Dallas Opera has awarded soprano Joyce El-Khoury with its Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award following her debut in The Pearl Fishers during the 2021–22 season. “A season that includes a particularly large number of debuts brings an exciting anticipation to each production,” said Ian Derrer, Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO, in a statement. “Joyce’s passionate debut as Leïla was a dramatic and vocal highlight that our audiences will not soon forget—and our subscribers overwhelmingly echoed that in their votes.”
Of her performances, Broadway World noted that El-Khoury’s Leïla was the “pearl of the show…. Her soprano has a haunting richness to it, the kind of bittersweet tone that makes Leïla’s arias particularly sympathetic and dramatic, but she switches between barely whispered prayers to pained declarations of love with such ease and authenticity that emphasizes the character’s own tortured psyche.”
El-Khoury’s career has seen her perform with such companies as the Glyndebourne Festival, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Welsh National Opera, among others in Europe and North America.
Nora E. London, President of the George London Foundation for Singers, Passes at 98
Nora E. London, wife of the late world-renowned bass George London and president of the George London Foundation for Singers, passed away on June 23, 2022, at age 98. Born in Berlin, she came to the U.S. at the start of World War II. She married London in 1945 and is survived by her children—Marina London, Marc London, Andrew Garvin, and Philip Garvin—as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“Our mother had a grand passion for opera that was matched by her deep knowledge of the art,” said Marina London, Vice President of the George London Foundation. “She kept the Foundation going after the death of George London and helped two generations of opera singers through its many activities. She was the matriarch of our family and in many ways of the opera world. We will continue the work of the Foundation in her honor.”
The Atlanta Opera Names Winners of “96-Hour Opera Project: Stories that Resonate”
Composer Marcus Norris and librettist Adamma Ebo are the winners of The Atlanta Opera’s “96-Hour Opera Project: Stories that Resonate” for their work Go On with the Wind, a 10-minute opera based on the true story of a Morehouse Glee Club singer who was invited to sing at a party celebrating the 1939 premiere of Gone With The Wind.
The competition took place June 17–20, 2022, with the finals presented at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center in Morehouse College. The judges panel featured Portland Opera Artistic Director Priti Gandhi, librettist and writer Andrea Davis Pinkney, Houston Opera General Director Khori Dastoor, renowned bass Morris Robinson, composer Kevin Putts, and choreographer Donald Byrd.
Norris and Ebo received a $10k cash prize and a commission from The Atlanta Opera to write a chamber opera.