Cher Public

Breaking Baden

Baden-Baden 1927 is the title Gotham Chamber Opera has given to its evening of four brief operas that premiered together at a festival in, yes, Baden-Baden on July 17, 1927. Paul Hindemith, the theoretician who headed the festival, contributed a jokey piece of his own and commissioned young, avant-garde composers from three neighboring nations: Germany (site of the festival and homeland of Kurt Weill), Austria (Ernst Toch) and France (Darius Milhaud). Besides brevity and a certain satirical attitude towards traditional operatic form, the works have little in common.   Read more »

Magrets de canard

Sound please!For our weekly meander through mendacity, we turn to no less than Gotham Chamber Opera’s own Neal Goren (not pictured), who writes, “People repeat as fact that women ruin their voices, or at least sacrifice their high notes, by singing in chest voice. So untrue!”

Fleur du mal

Nathaniel Hawthorne, the repentant Puritan—that is, he repented that his family had once been Puritans—describes the voice of Rappaccini’s Daughter, Beatrice, as “rich as a tropical sunset, … which made Giovanni, though he knew not why, think of deep hues of purple or crimson and of perfumes heavily delectable.” That may have been enough to lure Mexican composer Daniel Catán to turn this overwritten anecdote in Frankenstein gothic into a chamber opera, La Hija de Rappaccini.   Read more »

Different from the others

Those of you who so readily groan, “Oh, dear god, no, not another Carmen! Give it a bleeding rest!” (and you know who you are) may lose that long face, temporarily at least, when you hear the exotic repertoire promised by Gotham Chamber Opera next season.

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Emperor of the perverse

Short as Roman emperor Eliogabalo’s reign was, the world sighed in relief when it was over.

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The Roman stain

Gotham Chamber Opera stumbled so badly Friday night with Francesco Cavalli’s 1668 Eliogabalo at The Box, it was hard to know whether to feel sad or angry—or both.

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Box office

Although married five times including to the heretofore off-limits Vestal Virgin, he patronized hundreds of prostitutes while also showering political favors on his male lovers.

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Rose to the occasion

Count on Gotham Chamber Opera to spice up the spring season.

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Room for improvement

It’s hard to think of a rare work by a great composer more tailor-made for a twenty-first century reexamination than Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione.

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Teen dream

Some days you can feel like a hero just getting out of bed in the morning.

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