We are a group of music lovers trained in the sciences whose lives have been greatly enriched by classical music and FanFaire, the webzine that celebrates MUSIC! is our way of sharing with the world the many joys opera and classical music have given us through the years.
FanFaire is everything that the words FAN, FAIR(E), and FANFARE connote. FanFaire is a creation of fans of opera and classical music, thus it is a “fan-zine”, but one devoted to singing the praises not of one artist alone but of many. FanFaire is about a “fair” that never ends – it is about the concerts and the operas and the music festivals we have attended in the past and will continue to attend in the future, and it is about the music we listen to at home – our way of having a truly good time, rather like going to the fair! FanFaire is also about being fair – being only self-taught in music appreciation we will share with you as best we can the music and the performances we’ve most enjoyed; being trained in neither musicology nor music criticism we will pretend to be neither theorists nor critics and thus will make no attempt at demolishing artistic reputations. FanFaire is likewise a play on the the Middle English “faire”, an allusion to things old or classic or timeless, a device to remind us that music created hundreds of years ago is as beautiful and satisfying now as it was in its day. (Not that classical music is what some people call “grandparents’ music” – indeed in future issues, we shall feature classical music artists modern in outlook and very much in the prime of their youth.) And finally, FanFaire is about fanfare, as in “a flourish of trumpets,” – music, which for many is the most enjoyable if not the loftiest art, is always a form of celebration.
At its launching, FanFaire celebrated the music of Richard Wagner, specifically the METROPOLITAN OPERA’s acclaimed ‘RING CYCLE’ production staged in seasons that spanned the years 1986-2009, and the artistry of one of its foremost interpreters – the German soprano HILDEGARD BEHRENS. FanFaire contains as much textual information as its editors feel the “cyber-reader” can take (technological advances notwithstanding, the monitor screen, being more a medium for casual rather than serious reading, remains a poor substitute for curling up in bed with a good book). For the more deeply interested, “Suggested Reading” lists are occasionally offered. Music clips from performances and/or recordings of its featured artists are available for streaming and for downloading (provided of course that the requisite permissions have been granted) in the hope that doing so would entice the viewer to buy the CD or attend a performance and/or listen to the whole work and thereby deepen his/her interest in classical music. After all, music in any form is best appreciated by listening to than by reading about it. Having said that, FanFaire nevertheless has been earnestly promoting both modes of learning about classical music through its successful GIVEAWAYS, held in partnership with recording companies, music and book publishers, as well as presenters, concert venues, and opera companies. A quick glance at our Archive of Giveaways tells the story.
FanFaire has grown significantly since its launching over a decade ago, reaching a wide and loyal international audience from countries that include not only those steeped in the traditions of Western music. Its expanded fanbase includes music lovers from such diverse countries as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan– to name a fraction of a continually growing list. So… yes, today it’s fair to say that FanFaire is a well-positioned part of the classical music landscape – known to many of opera and classical music’s celebrated artists and recognized by the various stake-holders in the classical music industry.
Over the past years, critics and enthusiasts alike have decried what they perceive to be the “graying” of classical music, if not its sad decline. Classical music in all its forms is a universal treasure and those of us whose lives have been enriched by it must do all we can to keep it alive. By launching and growing FanFaire in cyberspace, we hope to do our bit to ensure that classical music and opera will have an audience that will thrive well into the millennium.