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.
If everything you see is great, you are either new to opera or chronically easy to please. Neither condition is anything of which to be ashamed, but the development of standards over a period of years is something to be embraced. Standards make it mean more when something really is worth raving over. Read more »
With today’s conclusion of a selected Rosenkavalier video overview in three parts, we leave behind the Vienna of the 1740s, the time of breeches, fans and white wigs. All three of the remaining performances reflect a modern trend toward setting Rosenkavalier in a less distant era, that of the opera’s premiere or a decade or two thereafter. Read more »
Our selected Rosenkavalier video overview closes out the 20th-century selections, crosses the millennial mark, and includes the first of our performances to depart from the opera’s prescribed 18th-century setting.
“Time is a strange thing,” the lady observes, to a young man who cannot begin to understand what she is talking about.
“In my music, there’s not repetition. Something is always going on.”
So, how excited are you to read another piece about the Mary Zimmerman Rusalka?
The subject of timidity has been in my thoughts in these waning days of February 2017. One would almost think there had been some big announcement recently, preceded by a series of smaller ones, to turn a U.S.-based opera fan’s thoughts in this direction.
This Met’s second production of Berg’s 1935 opera was the hot topic of November 2015.