Cher Public

  • Will: As opposed to the Rich Man’s Frug from Sweet Charity. 9:41 PM
  • Bluebeard: Well, the Clarion Music Society has a superb chorus, and its leader, Steven Fox, does wonders with them. On December 31 and... 9:31 PM
  • RudigerVT: Turkey Lurkey Time is, to say the least, a strange song. But the nascent Michael Bennett used it to introduce early-disco dance... 9:19 PM
  • pirelli: From what I understand, Bacharach was very frustrated by the “live theatre” aspect of things – he was much more... 8:25 PM
  • RosinaLeckermaul: Two of the songs you mention, “I Say a Little Prayer” and “A House Is Not a Home” were not in... 7:45 PM
  • armerjacquino: Were the hits in the show (I’ll Never Fall In Love Again/ A House is not a Home/ I Say A Little Prayer) pre-existing... 6:27 PM
  • RosinaLeckermaul: I, too, saw the original. Great score and Orbach was terrific. The show had a more elaborate sound design of any show up... 5:56 PM
  • Satisfied: This is really getting me in the mood for some classical Christmas here in NYC@. Any suggestions (other than Messiah,... 4:55 PM

La farsa del destino

There might be nothing in the world as joyous as a Rossini overture. Il Signor Bruschino is considered one of Rossini’s minor works but about 30 seconds into the overture you are officially in “Rossiniland” (the theme of this new video staged by the Pesaro Rossini Opera Festival in 2012). The violins tap the orchestra stands in a persistent knocking sound and the piece just bubbles along until its inevitable accelerating crescendo.
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Battle of the network tsars

For all their orchestral and vocal attractions, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s 15 operas are rarities in the West. If The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh is staged in an upcoming Met season as rumored, it will be the theater’s first representation of the composer’s music since 1945 (The Golden Cockerel), and it took The Tsar’s Bride 112 years to make it to Covent Garden.

Bel Air Classiques’ DVD documents Dmitri Tcherniakov’s 2013 production of the latter opera, with Daniel Barenboim leading the Berlin premiere cast. Read more »

Money on the dresser

“Hailed ‘the Meryl Streep of opera’…” begins one sentence of a promotional piece for a Diana Damrau recording of another opera, reproduced on the soprano’s website. This is a lofty claim, but I considered it as I watched Erato’s DVD memorializing the last of five 2013-14 Traviata productions (New York, Zurich, Munich, London, and Paris) in which Damrau sang her first Violettas.

There is, of course, a superficial similarity. Both women are attractive, refined blondes with German roots, and both can appear elegant or plain as a role requires. Both impress offstage as merry women and good storytellers, engaging in conversation and interview (I remember years ago hearing Damrau talk about the role of Strauss’s Sophie, and although she joked and laughed a lot, there was nothing frivolous about her insights). Both are admired technicians and hard workers. Read more »


Slash by night

Enthusiasts of Janácek’s opera will want to pick up this video immediately.

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Poor wan Rusalka

The winter 2014 final run of the Met’s first/only Rusalka production (a new one is scheduled in a few seasons) seemed both a nod to the theater’s past and a hint of its future.

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Tanks a lot, but no tanks

The production by Sebastian Baumgarten is the type of regietheater that’s not a rethinking or reconstruction, but just a hot mess.

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Show Boat amazon

Rolling along

You might be surprised, though, when that title turns out to be Show Boat.

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d’Arc victory

Tonight’s program at the New York Philharmonic, Arthur Honegger’s massive oratorio dramatique Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher, has been an occasional visitor to the orchestra’s repertoire starting with the performance conducted by Charles Munch in January of 1948.

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Haunted mountain

Beginning with the dark, ominous music of the prelude of Charles Wuorinen and Annie Proulx’s opera Brokeback Mountain, we know we are in for a very different and far less sentimental version of the work than was had with Ang Lee’s iconic 2005 film.

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Grail mix

Contemporary stagings of Parsifal tend to be spare, abstract affairs scrubbed of religious associations, knights in armor and, sometimes, a grail.

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