News and music to start your week!

The topic of women’s bodies – and body shaming – is not new to the world of classical music, and opera in particular. In recent news, soprano Kathryn Lewek received more words on her body in a review than about her actual performance.  Read more at BBC News and The Guardian. Lewek has employed the power of social media — her own Twitter feed – to fight back against the unfair attacks.

Read more thoughts about inclusivity and the opera stage with an interview with mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton at The Guardian “The American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is an international opera star who took both top prizes in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 2013. She identifies as bisexual and has spoken out on queer issues and body image. On 14 September she joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Last Night of the Proms.” Preceding the Proms, Barton will be interviewed live on the hit podcast, The Guilty Feminist, along with composer Errollyn Wallen.

Capital Public Radio speaks with celebrated conductor Mei-Ann Chen, pictured above, about her recent recording with the Chicago Sinfonietta, called PROJECT W, with diverse women composers, including Florence Price and Jennifer Higdon.  A very powerful new work by Reena Esmail called#MeToo is also featured on the CD.  Read on and listen in here.

September 14, the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony performs Amy Beach’s monumental Piano Concerto in C-sharp minor, op. 45, conducted by Dawn Harms and with Daniel Glover as piano soloist.  Learn more abouot the Concerto here.

What did we miss? Be sure to let us know!