Cher Public

Dirty dancing

dorian-amazonA few months before I received for review the DVD of Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen‘s 2013 opera The Picture of Dorian Gray (not to be confused with Lowell Liebermann’s 1996 opera of that name), I watched something more commonplace: a broadcast from overseas of a standard-repertory opera with a well-known tenor star, who shall remain nameless.

The tenor, who can pretend insanity but probably has not tried Insanity, was doubled in one scene by an identically dressed dancer. The singer was obliged to stand, watch and react as his fit, graceful doppelganger went through choreographic foreshadowing business at some length. I joked to friends that I wonder if an opera singer in such situations ever thinks, “Ten years from now, that guy will act the whole part while I sing from the wings.”  Read more »

Theory of revolution

kaufmann-chenierSome of the best news of the year to date came last week when Jonas Kaufmann announced that he feels ready to return to the stage after calling in sick since last autumn: he will head to Paris for Lohengrin next week (meanwhile dropping out of the opening of the new concert hall in Hamburg).  Since his Swan Knight has been posted at Mixcloud for some time, we’ll dedicate our wishes for his continuing good health with a 2015 London performance of Andrea Chénier with Eva-Maria Westbroek and Zeljko Lucic.  Read more »


waltraudHappy 60th birthday soprano/mezzo-soprano Waltraud MeierRead more »


That is the explanation of the crime

anatomy theater, receiving its New York premiere Saturday night at this year’s Prototype Festival, is a conceptual exercise in which nothing, absolutely nothing is left to the imagination.

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Ever ever ever

Happy 80th birthday songstress and diva Dame Shirley Bassey.

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Sea, no evil

Breaking the Waves is not only a “real opera,” it is an immensely powerful work of music drama.

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Robbed blind

Which internationally famous but vocally shaky diva may soon find her career waning if her upcoming appearance in one of her signature roles gets nixed?

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Chat: Nabucco

Listen and discuss, cher public, as the Met broadcasts Nabucco.

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‘Mid pleasures and palaces

On this day in 1893 Hermann Sudermann‘s Heimat premiered in Berlin.

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Comparisons are odious

One thing that is killing opera is the practice of critics’ comparing the singers they heard last night to dead or retired artists.

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