Cher Public

  • Buster: Her Lieder for soprano, clarinet and piano are wonderful. The EMI Lied recital (Mozart, Schubert, Wolf, Strauss) too. Pamina is... 2:28 PM
  • NPW-Paris: I’m watching that Bavarian production now. Very good. 2:10 PM
  • NPW-Paris: Oscar should be shot. 1:22 PM
  • NPW-Paris: “Has anyone ever seen a truly great production of La forza del destino?” I’ve only seen it twice. I thought... 1:13 PM
  • gustave of montreal: Oh la Sraceni, wow , beautiful! Four Saints: don’t know what its about but what a delightful and fun score.... 12:14 PM
  • redbear: “Then Truman dropped two Atom Bombs on Japan, which had already lost the war.” Cher Mme Claggert, my father and two... 12:06 PM
  • Buster: Finkel is not only a great scholar, he is funny too. I spent a few weeks in the student’s room of the BM in the eighties,... 11:12 AM
  • Batty Masetto: Happy Thanksgiving, US Parterrians! After your dinner guests have listened to three or four complete recordings of Die... 10:52 AM

Where have all the bubbles gone?

Susan Stroman’s relatively new Metropolitan Opera production of Lehar’s The Merry Widow translated well to Lyric Opera of Chicago when I attended Tuesday night, the second performance of the run. Read more »

Hell on wheels

Absent from Chicago Lyric Opera’s repertory for 21 years, Alban Berg’s Wozzeck came roaring into town on Sunday afternoon in a stunning new production by Sir David McVicar, featuring a uniformly excellent cast of singing actors. Performed without intermission, the production maintained a remarkable pace and kept the tension level high for one hundred minutes, after which the audience burst into an ovation of pent-up emotion.  Read more »

Mice mice baby

While taking the long ride on the “El” train to the Civic Opera House from my new home on the very North side of Chicago, I had plenty of time to contemplate the performance to come:  Rossini’s La Cenerentola, or, as Lyric Opera has marketed it, Cinderella. I had some trepidation about reviewing this production, as Rossini is far from my favorite composer, and in a buffo piece like this, one often encounters desperate attempts to get laughs with broad farce, or merely “playfulness”…for three hours and fifteen minutes.  Read more »


Haunted mountain

Beginning with the dark, ominous music of the prelude of Charles Wuorinen and Annie Proulx’s opera Brokeback Mountain, we know we are in for a very different and far less sentimental version of the work than was had with Ang Lee’s iconic 2005 film.

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Between the dragon and his wrath

Aribert Reimann’s 1978 opera Lear, based of course on Shakespeare’s titanic tragedy King Lear, is a major achievement in modern operatic scoring.

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A monster, without being a myth

Before this recording arrived in my mailbox, I: ( a) didn’t know there was an operatic version of Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, one of my favorite plays; and (b) was unfamiliar with the works of composer Gerald Berry.  After several hearings, I’m still not convinced that there is an operatic version of Earnest.  Barry has created what I would call a narrative set to a series of sound effects.  Now many of these effects are clever, occasionally amusing, and purposely bizarre, but they rarely seem to fit the brilliant verbal wit of Wilde’s original.  I kept thinking that, [...]

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Magic “Flute”

A confession:  I have a real love/ hate relationship with Mozart’s Die Zauberflote.

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Coming out

Christian Thielemann’s spirited, precise conducting and the superb, sumptuous playing of the Staatskapelle Dresden are the finest features of this strongly cast performance of Strauss’s Arabella.

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Anna Bolena

Let’s make it regal

Having heard a bit of the opening night broadcast and read some decidedly mixed reviews, I was totally unprepared for the remarkable performance of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena that I attended on December 15 at Chicago Lyric Opera.

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When I have sung my songs

Soprano Renée Fleming is certainly making the role of the Countess in Richard Strauss’s final opera Capriccio the focus of her late-career years.

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