Cher Public

David Fox

Easily assimilated

I’ve never liked the term “crossover.” It makes it sound like such a big deal—a rite of passage almost, or at least something that requires a roadmap and a visa. Why can’t we just have classical singers doing popular music (also the other way around, though that’s rarer) working with their own sound and instincts to explore another idiom?  Read more »

They love a piano

Piano, pianissimo, pianississimo. In music, usually this means soft, softer, and even softer. This time, though, I mean it literally: the musical instrument—pianos, more pianos, even more pianos. Uprights of various vintages are moved around strategically in arresting configurations. This forest of pianos is the only furniture on the stage, aside from a bench or two.  Read more »

That’s how they’ve done it

Così fan tutte, Mozart’s final Italian comedy with Lorenzo Da Ponte, is this season’s heaviest lift for Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA). Hell, it’s a heavy lift for any opera company, clocking in at three-plus hours, with formidable vocal and theatrical challenges for six principals.  Read more »

‘Spring’ is here

The Day Before Spring , while not exactly experimental, shows a young and adventurous team thinking both traditionally and out-of-the-box.

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Dream a little ‘Dream’

It may have taken 28 years to see Robert Carsen’s production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the U. S., but it was worth waiting for.

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Close ‘Call’

Director Casey Hushion attempts to spice up Call Me Madam in ways that make it feel more than ever like an out-of-touch relic.

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What’s done cannot be Undine

Academy of Vocal Arts’ Rusalka—surprisingly, only their second venture in many years into the Slavic repertoire—left a divided impression.

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Lenny and God

Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s “Music of Faith” with the Philadelphia Orchestra was a sensational concert, perhaps the best I’ve heard in more than a season.

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