Cher Public

It’s the Minnesinger not the song

Until Tobias Kratzer’s new production of Tannhäuser opens this summer, the second of Wagner’s canonical dramas had been directed only six times since the Bayreuth Festival’s reinauguration in 1951. As a centerpiece of Wagner’s theatrically inclined institution, this makes Tannhäuser lag behind the Ring (seen in 11 different incarnations since Wieland’s revolutionary Neo-Bayreuth production), Lohengrin (eight productions, the most recent of which was spearheaded by Yuval Sharon last summer), and all the other operas (each having been directed seven times) in directorial novelty. Read more »

There is no spoon

Alisa Jordheim and Oliver Sewell in “La Gazza Ladra.”

Can a work with pages and pages of indisputably great music fail to add up to a successful opera? I puzzled over that Sunday during the four hours of Teatro Nuovo’s essential concert staging of Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra at SUNY Purchase. Luckily this perplexing yet enthralling semiseria will be repeated in Manhattan on Thursday at the Rose Theater and no one interested in bel canto should miss it. Read more »

“Rhythm is born in all of us”

Born on this day in 1911 actress, dancer and singer Ginger Rogers. Read more »

Moody “Blue”

This weekend, sandwiched between a persuasive production of The Ghosts of Versailles and a routine revival of La Traviata, the Glimmerglass Festival premiered a searing examination of race, identity, and the fraught relationship between communities of color and law enforcement. Blue, with a score by Jeanine Tesori and libretto by Tazewell Thompson (who also directs), brings the joy and terror of raising – and being – a young Black man in America to the opera stage. Read more »

When off-off was on to something

Promenade is a powder keg but the powder may not be as explosive as it hints.

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Flower girl

Happy 40th birthday to Broadway’s Laura Benanti.

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Leading the people

Happy Bastille Day!

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Born on this day in 1924 tenor Carlo Bergonzi.

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