“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. But a pair of brief musical dramas, each about a fantastical beast, jolted audiences from their early summer doldrums.” [New York Observer]
“As one opera season winds up, marketing for the next kicks into high gear: the Met in particular is promoting its 2014-2015 season, promising thrilling voices, magnificent melodies and sumptuous productions. They may be missing an angle calculated to appeal to the more adventurous attendee: opera as game of chance.” [New York Observer]
The winds of change sweep across the first post-9/11 issue of parterre box, the queer opera zine. Glimmerglass Opera is in a slump, Mark Adamo talks to Our Own JJ about his new opera Little Women, a passel of pundits predict the highlights of the 2001-2002 season, Hans Lick goes to Zagreb, La Cieca dresses up Renée Fleming… and Ira Siff closes shop on the legendary La Gran Scena Opera Co. di New York. Things indeed would never be the same. [Download Issue #47]
“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.”
Our Own JJ (not pictured) offers his recommendations for 10 opera and classical music events worth hearing this spring.
In a slight detour from the usual all-opera-all-the-time format of parterre box, the queer opera zine, issue #44 centers on Ben Letzler‘s superb appreciation of film and cabaret diva Zarah Leander.
“The finale of Sweeney Todd left the stage of Avery Fisher Hall littered with corpses, but the evening, for all its flaws, felt vibrantly alive.”
The last place you’d expect to find opera at all, let alone good, exciting opera, is in still-scrappy Bushwick, Brooklyn.