Cher Public

King song

O Sleep, why dost thou leave me?

While Farinelli and the King isn’t the only Broadway play to have explored castration (Sweet Bird of Youth, anyone?) it’s likely the first to concern a legendary 18th century opera star.  Read more »

Safe passage

“All right, I’m ready for my closeup.”

A Met HD cinema broadcast of Puccini’s Tosca on Saturday, 27 January, concluded the first run of a production marked by upheaval in the ten months between its announcement and its New Year’s Eve premiere. For readers who have been in a cave meditating—and have made an unfortunate choice of reading material upon their reemergence—none of the three originally scheduled star singers was still attached by opening night. Conducting duties had been twice reassigned, with the second conductor’s removal connected to lurid headlines.  Read more »

Okay by me in America

Manhattanites will continue to associate mariachi with tacky nacho restaurants and subway serenades, but that hooty genre of music in fact finds its origins in the subtropics of Western Mexico, where rural migrants once brought trumpets, fiddles, guitarras de golpe, and spangled charro outfits to urban Guadalajara.  Read more »

That time of year

One of the greats of classical music, Franz Joseph Haydn was a bit of an “also-ran” as an opera composer.

Read more »

The trouble with troubadours

Anita Rachvelishvili and Quinn Kelsey towered over an otherwise pedestrian if still exciting Il Trovatore.

Read more »

Little house on the scary

Out of a literal perforation in the horizon of the Nebraskan prairie emerges Proving Up, the most convincing case I have ever seen for modern American opera.

Read more »

Flour song

Touting an austere, governessy program—the hour-and-change Schubert/Müller cycle, Die schöne MüllerinJonas Kaufman  fulfilled his long-awaited, high-profile return to Carnegie Hall last night.

Read more »

Placebo effect

Good singing and a dramatically potent (if conservative) production were an unbeatable combination in the Metropolitan Opera’s season premiere of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore. 

Read more »

Take this ‘Job’ and stage it

There is some difficulty in describing just what IYOV the musical occasion is—and I’ll take refuge in calling it a musical work in the current PROTOTYPE Festival.

Read more »

Hard candy

It’s perhaps because Puccini is the master of operatic pathos that Tosca has proved so hard for people to get a handle on.

Read more »