Dana Astmann is a writer, arts administrator, and pianist from New Haven, Conn. She writes about classical music for various newspapers and blogs and contributes program notes for the Yale School of Music and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Dana is currently the Assistant Director of Concerts and Media at the Yale School of Music. She has previously worked in diverse areas of administration at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, and Central City (Colo.) Opera House Association. As a collaborative pianist and keyboardist, she has appeared with A Broken Umbrella Theater, the New Haven Theater Company, and Jerusalem Musical Theater Company. She holds a B.A. in music and piano performance from Vassar College and an M.A. in musicology from the University of Toronto.
[UPDATE: Now with photos!] Before Opera Boston’s performance of Cardillac at the Majestic Theater on Sunday afternoon, a woman warned the people in her row that she might have to leave early. A man insisted to her that “the last seven minutes” were not to be missed.
In an angst-ridden conversation many years ago about new music, a friend of mine asserted that he didn’t care whether something was new as long as it was good. That conversation came to mind after seeing Christof Bergman’s opera buffa Piazza Navona on Sunday afternoon, in a production by Opera Manhattan Repertory Theatre.
“It was during a prolonged losing streak of the New York Yankees,” writes composer Richard Wilson, “that, musing on the subject of failure, I decided to write an opera about Aethelred the Unready.” And so he did, writing both libretto and music to a one-act opera in seven scenes.
Truth is more brutal than fiction. Particularly when the truth is the story of Colonel Floyd James Thompson, whose nine years in captivity in Vietnam made him America’s longest-held prisoner of war. It’s perfect material for a chamber opera: an epic war story focused on the intimacy of a single excruciating life. It seems to…
A painter’s nightmares of death start to become real. A man’s lover dies of a flesh-eating plague and inhabits the body of a new young fling. A TV news anchor finds herself on the other side of the headlines, drowning in the Holland Tunnel. If Edgar Allan Poe were alive today, these are the operas…