Cher Public

David Fox

Romance holiday

“Most definitely ready for prime time”: baritone Timothy Renner.

Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts (universally known by locals as AVA) may not have the international name recognition of another local top-tier musical training program, the Curtis Institute—but it’s comparable in stature and accomplishment.  Read more »

Emmanuel labor

Yannick Nézet-Séguin “scored particular points in presenting Messiah as a cohesive dramatic arc.”

Philadelphia is a city famous for its musical institutions—so, of course, at this time of year Messiah performances abound. I’m a hardcore fan, and I try to go at least once. This season, I made it to two, at different ends of the institutional spectrum.  Read more »

Razors, edge

Curtis Opera continued its season using the Prince Theater as their venue. That alliance took on particular resonance here, as the company ventured Sweeney Todd. The famous first production in 1979 was, of course, directed by Harold Prince, and surely represents one of his (and composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s) crowning achievements.  Read more »

Tales of the unexpected

In the Academy of Vocal Arts’s (AVA) clever pairing of two Puccini works, there was every reason to expect the fix was in.

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Hello again, Gorgeous!

It’s high time we see Funny Girl through a different lens.

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Trouble in paradise

Although Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti is always categorized as an opera, the piece certainly has one foot planted firmly in his jazzy musical-theater style.

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Glamour, reconceptualized

Opera Philadelphia’s O18 Festival continues through the weekend, but Friday represented a finale of sorts with the last two premieres.

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When queens preside

“Fricka is on fucking vacation.” 

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