Cher Public

Porgy Amor

A cynical member of Generation X, Louisville native Todd Koenig rejected a society that told its youth the answers could be found in the MTV video games. His exploration of 20th-century popular music led to a study of piano and a love of jazz. In his twenties, he began to listen to classical music – first symphonic works, chamber music, and keyboard literature, then song cycles, masses and oratorios. Five years into that period, he ventured into one of the few remaining uncharted territories: opera. He has familiarized himself with the standard repertory and much outside of it, and has advocated the art form to friends his age or younger who love music and theater. Since September 2015, as “Porgy Amor,” he has written reviews, history and think pieces (sometimes all at the same time) for parterre box. The opera he loves above all others is Verdi’s Falstaff, which he has described as the work of a very old man, with which a listener can grow old.



The leggy movie

Most of the video releases I receive for review are new performances to me, and any notions I have about them are received ones, which I try to put out of mind. Occasionally I have the opportunity to take a fresh look at something I did see when it premiered, and Nonesuch’s DVD/Blu-ray combo pack of William Kentridge‘s Metropolitan Opera Lulu provides such an opportunity. This Met’s second production of Berg’s 1935 opera was the hot topic of November 2015. It came in for both acclaim and criticism, and received its share of each here on parterre box.  Read more »

The sprite in you

Yesterday’s first half of the Rusalka video overview took us from literalism toward Regietheater. Today’s conclusion, covering filmed performances of Dvorák’s opera since 2010, charts the progression in reverse.   Read more »

White blossoms scorched by the sun

When Kristine Opolais turns her gaze moonward in Mary Zimmerman‘s new Rusalka on Thursday, Dvorák’s 1901 opera will be receiving just its second Met production. Ms. Opolais joins an exclusive club. The Met’s only prior Rusalkas have been Renée Fleming (18 performances), Gabriela Benacková (8) and Gwynne Geyer (one, and immortality as an opera trivia stumper).   Read more »

Does whatever a spider can

The beautiful singing here is less in the sound than in the way the voice moves.

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Traveling music

Andrea Andermann is the veteran film producer who had the notion to assemble top-flight talent from the worlds of music and cinema for a generously funded film of Tosca.

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Dirty dancing

The DVD of Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen‘s 2013 opera The Picture of Dorian Gray.

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There arose such a clatter

With Christmas Eve 2016 falling on a Saturday, the Met offers contrasting orchestral splendors at noon and 6 p.m.

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Once, Moore, with feeling

When Sonja Frisell‘s Met production of Aïda was new and starred Oklahoma native Leona Mitchell, the similarly-intialled Latonia Moore was nine years old, singing in the choir of her pastor grandfather’s church. 

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Stage beauty

>What does a great opera production do, and what does a bad production fail to do?

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Rooting for the underdoge

“Take a good deal of trouble with it, because it is a fine subject, delicate and full of pathos.”

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