“James Jorden always wanted to direct, but when he first moved to New York the closest he could get to the stage was in a low-paying job sweeping up bobby pins. That’s when he had a a stroke of inspiration: if his career wasn’t advancing through official channels, maybe more underground measures would bring him success.” Our Own JJ [not pictured] is the guest on this week’s installment of The Sewers of Paris.
“Though most of the reviews of last week’s Met’s revival of Bellini’s I Puritani concentrated on the singing of tenor Javier Camarena… we should not overlook his leading lady, soprano Diana Damrau. In a sense, she outshone even Camarena, because she not only sang the difficult leading role, she also directed the opera.” [Observer]
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is first among equals in a spectacular cast when she sings the title role of Ariodante in this season’s installment of Carnegie Hall’s critically acclaimed cycle of Handel’s operas in concert. A brilliantly melodic work, the opera features outstanding arias for each of the principal singers, including Ariodante’s melancholy “Scherza infida” and show-stopping “Doppo note.” Harry Bicket and The English Concert bring authentic Handelian brilliance to this marvelous opera. (Photo: Simon Pauly) Get tickets. Read more »
“Reading the texts…I found to my fear and horror, words that killed, words that told every time of women’s undoing.” So wrote feminist critic Catherine Clément in her controversial 1979 study Opera: The Undoing of Women. Though the focus of her work was on classic operas like Madama Butterfly and Lucia di Lammermoor, her thesis, that violent mistreatment of women is central to opera, was confirmed last weekend when Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now presented new works in which women were variously gang-raped, eviscerated and executed by firing squad. [Observer]
“We want to figure out how to create a nationwide change in how people think opera can be done. \“
The celebrated ‘Triumph’ scene… borders on homoerotic porn.
“He towered over the listless supporting cast like Daniel Day-Lewis guest-starring in a marionette show.”
“Just as every downtown shopping street in every major American city now features the same familiar retailers’ names, New York City Opera has no particular artistic identity different from, say, Opera Carolina.”
La Cieca (pictured) asks, what are your eight (or even 10) can’t-miss opera events for the fall?
An aging eccentric—who has for decades occupied a dubious place on the fringes of New York’s musical life—today saw a lifelong dream fulfilled.