Cher Public

That ’70s show

Siegfried, WNO, Washington, DCWashington National Opera followed up Monday’s lavishly praised Die Walküre with a Siegfried that, if not quite rising to the summit of the previous installment, delivered a musically committed and eminently watchable version of this complicated work.  Read more »

Special guest Heldenreizerin

Walkure 1WNO’s first complete Ring Cycle continued Monday evening with a revamped version of the Die Walküre first seen at the Kennedy Center in 2007. The evening was to feature British soprano Catherine Foster, recently the Brunnhilde in that Soviet gangster energy politics Ring at Bayreuth. Unfortunately, she injured her ankle during a dress rehearsal last week and had to withdraw from Monday’s performance. On the other hand, her extremely luxurious cover turned out to be none other than Christine GoerkeRead more »

Burden of gilt

rheingoldWhen Francesca Zambello’s production of Das Rheingold opened in DC a decade ago I was not a fan. Glibly described as an “American” or “environmental” Ring, it seemed poised to buckle under the weight of its own self-importance. If the actual production offered more than the elevator pitch implied, it still felt overly invested in shoehorning the Ring into some bigger scheme for dubious purposes, an exercise which quickly grew tedious in practice.  Read more »

Nun zäume dein Ross

Christine Goerke will sing the role of Brünnhilde in the Monday, May 2 performance of The Valkyrie at WNO.

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Play well

Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson’s 1949 musicalization of Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country has found a tentative home on the opera stage.

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Throne away

WNO premiered Better Gods, an hour-long work by composer Luna Pearl Woolf and librettist Caitlin Vincent on Friday evening.

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Slice of life

Washington National Opera presented the fourth annual installment of its “American Opera Initiative” series in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater Wednesday evening.

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Glass warfare

Saturday’s Washington National Opera premiere of a new version of Philip Glass and Christopher Hampton’s Appomattox had everything going for it but the opera.

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Thank you for smoking

Along with Don Giovanni, Carmen is an odd bird on the list of the most beloved and frequently performed works.

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La Dappertutta

Providing continuing proof that at any given time there are only about a dozen opera administrators in the entire universe, the currently restructuring Washingon National Opera has selected as its artistic advisor the otherwise criminally underemployed Francesca Zambello.

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