“The sensation is that you are actually right there in the studio with Callas herself. In comparison to earlier masters of this material, she sounds less abstractly ‘divine’ and more approachably human.” Our Own JJ reviews the massive collection Maria Callas Remastered: The Complete Studio Recordings (1949-1969) for his regular column in the New York Observer.
“Imagine, if you can, sitting in crisply-pressed linen, sipping a perfectly chilled strawberry mojito wafted to your sidewalk table by a ravishing server, as you listen to the murmur of leaves without even the echo of a car radio or a cranky child’s whine to mar the tranquility… and, while you’re at it, throw in a sumptuous sky display as the evening sun sets over the Hudson River. Now set the whole experience to music by Handel, and you’ve got an approximation of Mark Morris’ staging of Acis and Galatea at Lincoln Center. It’s everything good about summer condensed into two hours.” [New York Observer]
“The dark clouds hovering over Mr. Gelb should not obscure his very real achievements.” [New York Observer]
“Mr. Burden did his best to wrestle with what looked like a disused Dale Chihuly chandelier, but…”
“At Carnegie Hall last Thursday, a capacity crowd witnessed what might be the final official act of a monarch who has reigned for more than four decades.”
The NY Phil Biennial, a new music festival that is dedicated to new music, kicked off its first season at a drowsy time on the performing arts calendar, the week after Memorial Day.
The Met may be missing an angle calculated to appeal to the more adventurous attendee: opera as game of chance.
“In Kristine Opolais, who gave her first Met performance in the title role on Friday night, the company has a Butterfly with the soaring voice and penetrating theatrical presence to meet Minghella’s elegant dramaturgy head on.”
The sad fact, though, is that the Met is not doing a great job or, in most cases, even a competent job at this core task.
“Opera can, in fact, be something beautiful and moving even when all a performance has going for it is some really excellent singing.”