Operamission, a scrappy little company that performs music from all sorts of eras and styles in venues all over town, is in fact its Kapellmeisterin, Jennifer Peterson. Her latest brainstorm was to give A Countertenor Cabaret, starring no fewer than 14 of these once-rare songbirds, in the cabaret space of the Duplex on Sheridan Square, and to live-stream the entire event, with translations of the remarkably varied musical fare. Read more »
Manon Lescaut was Giacomo Puccini’s first big international success. His publisher, Giulio Ricordi, tried to put him off the project by citing Jules Massenet’s very successful adaptation just nine years previously. Puccini was intent on making the story his own, insisting, “A woman like Manon can have more than one lover… I shall feel it like an Italian, with desperate passion.” Desperation is certainly the feeling this reviewer got from a new recording of Manon Lescaut from our friends at Decca Classics, but I’m also quite certain it’s not the same type that the Maestro had for his subject. Read more »
What does it mean anyway to get to know a diva, and why exactly would we wish to do such a thing? We wait outside stage doors, have ourselves photographed with them, and in rare instances, become their friends, but why them? We haven’t chosen to know them as we know our friends, with the idea we have things in common. We’ve chosen them.
And here I am, plunging headlong into presumptuous first-person plural.
The visit of the Mariinsky Theater’s resident company to the glittering opera house of the Brooklyn Academy of Music consists of three ballet programs with starry casts preceded, last night, by a single performance of Rodion Shchedrin’s opera, The Enchanted Wanderer.
It’s particularly bewildering that before 2013 there was no such thing as the Prototype Festival.
Vittorio Grigolo in the title role of the Met’s revival of Les Contes d’Hoffman is the opera version of the charming homeless drunk.
It seems almost comical to think now but the designer-director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, who died in 1988, was at one time considered the height of regie-theatre scandal.
His shaved head in striking contrast to his dark beard and glinting eyes, the implacable Tartar conqueror glowers at us from the CD cover, while the uncropped photo of countertenor Xavier Sabata (above) is even more disturbing, featuring his raised fist and forearm tightly wrapped in a leather belt.