Cher Public

‘Dead Man,’ stumbling

In the program notes to Washington National Opera’s new production of Dead Man Walking, composer Jake Heggie notes that the premiere of a new opera was a “rare occasion” in 2000, when this piece first appeared in San Francisco. Since then, it has flourished in a way few contemporary operas have, garnering nearly 300 performances across the globe. But having finally seen it this past Saturday in DC, I’m afraid this work’s popularity may be a result of first-mover advantage more than anything else.  Read more »

Cards on the table

The Canadian Opera Company scored a coup when they secured Christine Goerke for the revival of their Ring productions over the last three seasons.  Read more »

Cross fit

Opera composers do not often change their spots. Everyone honors Verdi, whose septuagenarian operas ring wonderful changes on a long and spectacular career, but in this as in so many ways, Verdi was unique. It is astonishing that Carlisle Floyd, whose Susannah was a hit sixty years ago, has now, at ninety, presented us with another opera—his sixteenth. But it does not signal much of an advance on its predecessors.  Read more »

Open source

Ted Hearne’s opera/oratorio The Source brings compositional process and combination of acoustic and electronic elements to the weighty topics of national security leaks, big data, and war.

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Water, logged

So, how excited are you to read another piece about the Mary Zimmerman Rusalka?

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Plummeting in love

The Met’s current production of Verdi’s La Traviata is something of a mixed bag.

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Dancing lady

I entered the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Saturday night for LA Opera’s 30 year old revival of their production of Salome with a combination of enthusiasm and apprehension.

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Devil may not care

The subject of timidity has been in my thoughts in these waning days of February 2017. One would almost think there had been some big announcement recently, preceded by a series of smaller ones, to turn a U.S.-based opera fan’s thoughts in this direction. 

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C’est la chanson des rêveurs qui s’étaient arraché le coeur

Sandrine Piau‘s lovely recital with pianist Susan Manoff at The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society on February 14 entered around the themes of sleep, dreams and waking. 

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Crazy in love

I am, perhaps instinctively, skeptical of those who commit suicide.

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