The ensemble L’Arpeggiata — which offers a blend of Baroque and folk, scholarship and improvisation — plays the Library of Congress on Monday night. On ionarts.com, Charles T. Downey interviews the group’s founder, Christina Pluhar. A notable quote: “I in general like to work with non-classical singers, because they communicate the text much more intensely than classical singers. They are storytellers, and this is something you can find in sources, that emphasis on bringing the text alive, but it is a practice that has changed a lot in the style of vocal education in recent centuries.”...

Last week, I mentioned the composer’s competition Art Songs for the 21st Century at Philadelphia’s Center City Opera Theater. The audience winner was the musical theater composer Ray Leslee. The other four winners, chosen by a jury, were also in the audience’s top five: Andrea Clearfield (who is already working on an opera for the company), Eliza Brown, Dale Trumbore, and Daniel Schlosberg. The three not already under contract have gotten contracts to develop new work. Contemporary opera: it’s all the rage these days. At least if you’re a small company.

I could make a joke about the Metropolitan Opera’s ubiquitous technological presence, but actually, no kidding: they’ve not only dominated the market, but defined it. Now, they’ve announced a new streaming service available through a new iPad app. Met Opera on Demand gives access to at least 44 Live in HD archived broadcasts, plus a range of older telecasts and audio recordings. The app is free, but of course you have to subscribe to get the streaming content: plans start at [CORRECTED FOR FINGER-SLIP TYPO:] $14.99 a month. Too expensive? Maybe. Now if they could only get us some better productions...