Wendy Escambia

One in a mill

jonas_muellerinWhen I saw this CD was coming out my first thought was, “Why?” We already have brilliant recordings of  “Die Schöne Müllerin” from artists like Fritz Wunderlich, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, et. al. Read more »

Batter my disc

finley_amazonI have heard Gerald Finley live and enjoyed his singing immensely. He possesses a strong, resonant, lyric baritone, even of scale and beautiful of timbre. His biggest successes to date have been creating the roles of Oppenheimer in John AdamsDr. Atomic and Harry in Mark-Anthony Turnage‘s The Silver Tassie. He includes selections from both of these operas on his new CD Great Operatic Arias: Gerald Finley, and they are terrific.   Read more »

“They certainly spared every expense!”

keenlyside_hamletI have to confess that I overheard that line during the intermission of the Met’s new production of Amboise Thomas’s seldom-performed Hamlet based on Shakespeare’s oft-performed play. I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Read more »

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A Littler “Night Music”

A Little Night Music at the Walter Kerr last night left me longing for a little more than we were given. Yes, there are some wonderful things about this revival of Stephen Sondheim’s most unabashedly romantic musical – and I’ll get to those in a minute – but the sets and costumes by David Farley are decidedly skimpy and cheap-looking.

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Snow business

The life of Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk is almost as melodramatic as that of its heroine. Composed in the early 1930’s, the opera was well received at its 1934 Leningrad premiere, and was also a success in Moscow a couple of years later. Then one evening Stalin came to see it and walked out mid-performance.

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