Cher Public

  • Milady DeWinter: Happy Birthday Alessandra Marc! One of the truly great voices of our time – and a diva who should have had a long... 1:33 PM
  • Camille: Oh thanks SPASIBISSIMO! Honey, I knew you’d be right behind me on that one so I had no fears for the mess I’d create!... 1:25 PM
  • manou: Bolshie – neutral. 1:11 PM
  • Krunoslav: BTW, Camille: Bol’shoi teatr (masculine) Bol’shoe spasibo ( neuter) Bol’shaya Olga ( feminine 1:04 PM
  • Camille: VERY HAPPY Birthday to the BOL’SHOYE Olga! The Best! That Pauline’s Aria will remain in my memory forever. That... 12:32 PM
  • Milady DeWinter: Hi Cocky – you are ao right about Barton – all the best sound is in the lower half of the voice. I just... 12:27 PM
  • danpatter: I guess I’m a hopeless romantic/sentiment alist. The ARABELLA finale never fails to get to me. I like this opera even... 11:22 AM
  • redbear: It was absolutely clear to me that Castorf was deliberately making fun of and emphasizing the banality of the story and I cannot... 10:09 AM

No contest

tannhauser amazonRichard Wagner viewed dance as an essential element of art, though he used it sparingly in his operas. The bacchanal he put in the 1861 Paris version of Tännhauser was supposed to depart from classical ballet and serve up an orgy of motion, with figures assembling and reordering themselves, not unlike the physical manifestation of a symphonic poem.

One wonders what he’d make of Staatskapelle Berlin’s 2014 production, now on BelAir Classiques. Director Sasha Waltz’s sweaty pileup of writhing bodies in the opening tableau serves as the jumping off point for a fully choreographed opera in which dancers weave around and through the scenes with sweeping gestures, arresting poses and sometimes sophomoric mimed responses to what’s being sung.  Read more »

Think pink

pinkAlthough I had seen LoftOpera’s two special summer presentations last year, I hadn’t attended a full-scale opera by the group until Thursday night’s premiere of Le Comte Ory. Returning to Bushwick’s The Muse, an enormous space that usually functions as a circus school, Loft offered an unusually satisfying, immensely entertaining production of Rossini’s scintillating portrait of an inveterate seducer—and with all tickets just $30, it’s an irresistible bargain!  Read more »

There ought to be clowns

New York Philharmonic's Biennial 2016: The Importance of Being Earnest by Gerald Barry, conducted by Ilan Volkov and directed by Ramin Gray with members of the New York Philharmonic at Rose Theatre, 6/1/16.Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of listening to someone tell a joke badly?  Read more »

Levine

Just a song at twilight

“Mr. Levine was conducting his beloved Wagner for what was almost certainly the last time.”

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Carmen 1

Incomplete mountain pass

The big news on Van Ness Avenue, it goes without saying, is Calixto Bieito’s operatic debut on these shores.

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Levine

Trauermarsch

I can scarcely remember a performance where so many conflicting thoughts raced through my mind as happened Thursday night during the Met Orchestra’s “bleeding chunks” of Wagner’s Ring at Carnegie Hall.

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forza_amazon

Cross purposes

“Has anyone ever seen a truly great production of this opera?”

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Gott

A choice, not an ecosystem

Washington National Opera’s first Ring Cycle came to a bittersweet conclusion this past Sunday, closing the door on an extraordinary three weeks in the opera house and a remarkable musical and theatrical achievement for the company.

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Fleming

At sunset

Sunday afternoon’s all-Richard Strauss concert served as a de facto commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the debut of Renée Fleming, long one of the house’s biggest stars.

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Amleto 1

“This is the very ecstasy of love”

The grand illusion is that we know it all. From four hundred years of opera, we’ve distilled the worthy survivors.

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