Cher Public

Tales of the Bavarian baloney pony

In November, everyone wanted to hear more about Jonas Kaufmann‘s Johnson. The top parterre stories of last month follow the jump.  Read more »

Girl power

In an alternate universe, Hillary Clinton, about a year past her election to the Presidency, made her way from the White House to the Kennedy Center on a balmy November eve, sat down next to the second and fourth women appointed to the Supreme Court (Justices Ginsburg and Kagan, notably in attendance), watched an illuminating production of an opera that openly confronts female sexuality, power, and militarism in a performance featuring a predominately female cast, much of which was trained in the American conservatory system, that was both directed and conducted by women at the top of their fields and overseen by the most powerful woman in opera in the United States.  Read more »

Celeste graffiti

I see flags, I hear bells, There's a parade in Memphis. Photo: Scott Suchman

I see flags, I hear bells, there’s a parade in Memphis. Photo: Scott Suchman

The reasoning behind putting on Aida over any other Verdi opera must be that if you put ancient Egypt onstage, sooner or later you’ll find Tutankhamen’s tomb. It has name recognition value and is a surefire box office reward, but now carries a promise of luxury and extravagance onstage that other operas allegedly don’t have. (Evidence: the man behind be who, before the performance started, asked “Is this the opera about the elephant?”)  Read more »

Keeping the faith

Going into Washington National Opera’s final presentation of the season, Madama Butterfly, I feared that I might be geisha’d out.

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Ring cycle

Washington National Opera continued a focus on recent works this season with Terence Blanchard and Michael Cristofer’s 2013 opera Champion on the life of boxer Emile Griffith.

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‘Dead Man,’ stumbling

The opera is relentlessly obvious, a work that repeatedly turns to tired tropes and canned characters to fill up its nearly three hour run time.

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Pyramid scheme

Isn’t it inspiring how deeply Francesca Zambello has sunk her tentacles into the heart of American opera?

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On topic

Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative, now in its 5th year, keeps the opera flame alight at the Kennedy Center during the long winter stretch between mainstage WNO productions.

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After the fall

Washington National Opera offered a shellshocked D.C. some much-needed diversion Saturday night, with a new production of La Fille du Regiment.

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And let the voice of Justice bring relief

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes her curtain call.

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