Cher Public

One finger exercise

loser-gilfryDavid Lang is, per The New Yorker, a “postminimalist enfant terrible,” best known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning little match girl passion. I am not familiar with his work, but the little match girl was extolled to me in the highest terms by a total stranger on the subway platform (Nevins Street) going home from the loser, and in New York there can be no more exalted gospel.  Read more »

Cuts like a knife

pagAside from being the choice of the revived New York City Opera for its opening double-bill this season, you may wonder what Rachmaninoff’s Aleko and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci have in common.  Read more »

Opera Syria

Georgia JarmanAt the Caramoor Bel Canto Festival’s performance of Aureliano in Palmira (a North American premiere, I believe), a friend who doesn’t go to quite so much opera said, “The music’s fun, but doesn’t Rossini repeat himself?”  Read more »

Grimes

Jersey shore

You don’t often hear the grand operas of Benjamin Britten on smaller stages.

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Ezio

Ezio said than done

Ezio was an inspired choice for Boston’s feisty Odyssey Opera to open its “When In Rome” festival.

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Amleto 1

“This is the very ecstasy of love”

The grand illusion is that we know it all. From four hundred years of opera, we’ve distilled the worthy survivors.

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Malvina

Live and empoisoned

In how many operas does the heroine drink poison and then go lengthily mad?

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Yale

Another man’s Persian

The seventeenth-century works of Francisco Cavalli may be easier for modern audiences to accept.

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Gioconda

Il giocondo

With six leads in Gioconda, you can reliably hope that three or four will be worth listening to, or why would they have revived the opera?

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Dünya

In harem’s way

Othello in the Seraglio is the rather unfortunate title bestowed by the ensemble Dünya on its “coffeehouse opera,” ossia The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch.

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