Harry Lawrence Freeman’s Voodoo (“A Negro Grand Opera,” according to the manuscript score), begun sometime before 1914, was completed and first heard on radio in May, 1928, then staged on Broadway later that year—seven years before Porgy and Bess, please note. We do not know if Gershwin saw it, but it’s likely enough. However, influence was slight in either direction: Freeman had other models and was not so fixated on popular music of the day. Read more »
The creation of Kurt Weill’s The Eternal Road and its lately remodeled avatar, The Road of Promise, boiled down and premiered at Carnegie Hall Wednesday night by the Collegiate Chorale and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, was an intricate process, far more interesting than the work itself. Read more »
On Saturday, a new company called Bare Opera gave its first performance, a double bill of Debussy’s L’Enfant Prodigue and Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, at the Robert Miller Gallery in Chelsea. One of the company’s directors made noises along the lines of New York needing a different sort of opera, in small, less formal spaces, with young performers and an intimate theatricality. Read more »
It could get loud. It often does, especially when the soprano is mere inches from your ears, pleading with the duke for the life of the poor boy (parentage unknown) who insulted her notorious dynasty.
A performance space called the Sheen Center has opened its doors way down the far end of Bleecker Street, a stoner’s throw from where CBGB’s used to thrive beside the itsy-bitsy Amato Opera House. (You never forget your first Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio.) Sheen Center, sizable and modern and slim on personality, contains two theaters. The smaller one is the Sheen Center Blackbox (18 Bleecker), and it is just the right size (except it lacks a pit) for chamber-scale opera performance.
Mr. Peabody, that Leonardo among canines, claimed she was suffering from toothache.
The Rape of Lucretia, now (through Sunday) enjoying a superb three-performance run at the Juilliard Opera’s Willson Theater (tickets are scarce; hie thee to the waiting list), was Benjamin Britten’s third opera and first “chamber opera,” composed for the tiny original theater at Glyndebourne,
Ellen Douglas finds herself in Act II of Rossini’s La Donna del Lago in the far from unusual operatic position of having her love claimed by two impassioned tenors in the bel canto version of a macho drag race.
Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide (1774), the occasion of his Paris debut, gets far less respect than her sequel, Iphigénie en Tauride.
A Countertenor Cabaret, starred no fewer than 14 of these once-rare songbirds, in the cabaret space of the Duplex on Sheridan Square.