Cher Public

And the villain still pursued her

Last month tenor Piotr Beczala triumphantly posted on Instagram the news that the Theater an der Wien would produce Stanislaw Moniuszko’s Halka in 2019. However New Yorkers didn’t have to wait two years as Bard College presented a semi-staged concert of Halka on Saturday evening as part of its impressively wide-ranging two-week “Chopin and his World” festival.  Read more »

A Frabjous Day: The Siege of Calais

The turntable set looks much the same from any angle: gutted concrete tenements and perilous alleys, instantly recognizable as a scene of urban guerrilla mayhem. People lived here once. They still do, actually, hidden in the rubble, caring for the wounded, raising children, scavenging food. Indeed, during the overture one of the inhabitants drops from the city wall to raid the camp of the besieging army for bread, and is nearly shot while he’s about it.  Read more »

A midnight girl in a nine o’clock town

The venerable Merola Opera Program, celebrating its 60th year this summer, presented a perfectly cast Cenerentola on August 3 in the auditorium of the San Francisco Conservatory. Read more »

Catch a falling tsar

You’d think by now I’d know better than to make snap judgments about an opera or a singer—but apparently not.

Read more »

Goodbye, gorgeous!

Can a surfeit of pleasure become—in the end—unsatisfying?

Read more »

Mostly Mozart in the Jungle

Tack on a little symphonic Beethoven and some particularly zany hosting patter from Bernadette Peters, and you start to lose focus, or at least some sense of, um, what matters mostly.

Read more »

Wine coolers are the first thing, morals follow on

Skirting the leafy, patrician Berkshires of Western Mass, and flush with wine coolers and white people, pastoral Tanglewood doesn’t much resemble the dark Nibelung settings of Norse myth.

Read more »

Tragedy tonight

In May of last year tenor Piotr Beczala and soprano Anna Netrebko sang in Lohengrin for the first time under the baton of Christian Thielemann in his home house at the Staatskapelle Dresden.

Read more »

Tenors gone wild

Among several fine productions at Aix this summer, Dmitri Tcherniakov’s brilliantly conceived and executed Carmen proved a game changer. 

Read more »

The beautiful stage is empty

Two productions at the Aix-en-Provence festival shared one look.

Read more »