Cher Public

Animal, vegetable

Everything in the garden.

A buddy once remarked that if a conservatory’s doing evening-length Mozart, it’s probably La finta giardinera, an early opus about fakery in a garden. (“Well, that, or I guess maybe like Amadeus or something…?”) Read more »

Flight of fancy

02_Act IJonathan Dove’s Flight is an opera that makes excellent use of setting. Inspired by a true story of an Iranian refugee, it takes place in an airport—the emotionally charged space where people are constantly departing and arriving. Here, in this amorphous, liminal zone, travelers move forward—excited, scared, nervous—leaving behind past identities and former attachments; and yet, they are also always arriving, entering into new understandings of the self—what they love, what they long for, and what they value.  Read more »

I don’t sleep, I dream

The dramatic action of La Sonnambula is delicate as a holiday ornament of filigree glass, and its semiseria naiveté may puzzle a modern public. Staging it is an awkward matter at best, as the recent Met production demonstrated: How can you update a tale of Swiss rustics who refuse to believe in sleepwalkers but insist passionately on the reality of ghosts, virgin brides and honorable noblemen?  Read more »

She who gets slapped

All those who have been in a rage since the news broke this week that the Metropolitan Opera has invited Calixto Bieito to stage Verdi’s La Forza del Destino can relax and embrace the Juilliard Opera’s new Le Nozze di Figaro which opened Friday night.

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Trigger warning

The Rape of Lucretia, now (through Sunday) enjoying a superb three-performance run at the Juilliard Opera’s Willson Theater (tickets are scarce; hie thee to the waiting list), was Benjamin Britten’s third opera and first “chamber opera,” composed for the tiny original theater at Glyndebourne,

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Mourning becomes Iphigenia

Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide (1774), the occasion of his Paris debut, gets far less respect than her sequel, Iphigénie en Tauride.

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To the vixen belongs the spa

A production as delectable as the current one (through Sunday) at the Juilliard Opera will make you wonder why Il Turco is not as well known as L’Italiana, Il Barbiere, La Cenerentola, even the odd and occasional Il Viaggio a Rheims.

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Ash Wednesday

Joyce, Javier and now Julia—this week these three remarkable Js brought New York City memorable “Cinderella stories.”

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Fox news

In Leos Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, the heroine is shot and skinned for her fur.

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