Cher Public

Digging in the dirt

Even those of us who consider Guillaume Tell Rossini’s greatest opera understand why it has not been his most frequently staged. Of late this valedictory epic of oppression and patriotic uprising, challenging to cast and expensive to mount, has experienced a renaissance. Opus Arte’s new DVD/Blu-ray records one of several new productions of the present decade.  Read more »

Angel of the mourning

If it ain't brocade, don't fix it.

If it ain’t brocade, don’t fix it.

The most distinct pleasure of The Merry Widow at the Metropolitan Opera was the polished, yet warm, performance of Susan Graham as Hanna Glawari. Her cultivated, gathered mezzo caressed each phrase of Lehar’s sentimental score. She sounded as fresh and effortless as when she debuted at the house in the early 90s. While her spoken dialogue was not nearly as natural in its production, Graham still managed a folksy, relaxed approached to the role.  Read more »


It was odd, if not downright uncomfortable, to watch Le Nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera. Certain allegations and newspaper articles floated through the air. But discomfort leads to growth, and opera, like all art, can be both a catalyst for painful change and a salve.  Read more »

Forever, Amber

My takeaway from this evening is that I want to hear a lot more from Amber Wagner.

Read more »

“Norma,” bis

Sir David McVicar’s inept and dreary new production of Bellini’s Norma proved to be more satisfying than it had been on opening night when it returned to the Met Friday evening thanks to its new leading ladies Angela Meade and Jamie Barton

Read more »

What women want

Psychology is encoded in the composer’s vocal lines more than his librettist’s words.

Read more »

Medium cool

Nico Muhly has set himself the task of presenting Winston Graham’s elusive heroine Marnie on the operatic stage.

Read more »

Queen of the damned

Semiramide—a better opera than this dude expected!”

Read more »

Kiss the pearls goodbye

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s spectacularly colorful and glitzy new production of The Pearl Fishers opened on Sunday.

Read more »

Women seem wicked when you're unwanted

Stranger things

Vincenzo Bellini’s La Straniera was presented at George Washington University’s dreary Lisner Hall on Sunday.

Read more »