Richard Lynn is a New York City based opera lover who writes at parterre box under the name Dawn Fatale. His love of opera started at a very young age when he used to listen to the Met broadcasts and obsessively read back issues of Opera News in lieu of socializing at family gatherings. In college, he majored in Chemistry while taking as many music and theater courses as possible. He worked at the Music Library to get access to the opera recordings that were off limits to undergraduates. Since the early 1990s he has been writing about opera at parterre box and other publications and is particularly interested the evolution of staging and performance practices.
A quick survey of the Met website shows wide swaths of available seats for the upcoming performances of La traviata and L’elisir d’amore. Only new works like The Hours and Fire Shut Up in My Bones have been achieving sold-out houses.
A nonstop flow of COVID related announcements from New York City performing arts organizations has swept the city the past weeks.
Last year at this time, performance arts organizations in NYC were announcing that the COVID pandemic would force closures through the summer. We here at parterre box, having honed our mantic powers predicting the precise timing of a singer’s vocal collapse, foresaw a grimmer reality.
Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America provides ample fodder for the legions of amateur opera sleuths seeking to confirm their theory of “Who Killed City Opera?”
Akhnaten, seen at the Los Angeles Opera on November 13 tells the story of the Pharaoh who abandoned traditional Egyptian polytheism.
At the election-eve Jenufa at the Met, Trumpism made an unexpected, if timely appearance.
The redevelopment that took place at Lincoln Center during Reynold Levy’s tenure as president of Lincoln Center represents a considerable accomplishment.
James Levine turns 72 this year. Even though his health has improved considerably in the past year and he may continue to conduct for a decade or more, it seems inevitable that he will step down as the Met’s Music Director sometime in the next few years to assume the role of Conductor Laureate.
For my 2014 retrospective, I’ve chosen two shows from the past year that are returning in 2015 and that really shouldn’t be missed by NY-based-and-visiting parterriani.
Last week, Moody’s Investor Services delivered yet another piece of yet another piece of bad news for the Metropolitan Opera.
This past week of contract negotiations at the Metropolitan Opera has been notable for the absence of any new PowerPoint presentations or fustian proclamations.
In response to repeated urging by La Cieca, Our Own Dawn Fatale has contributed a “to do” list for the benefit of Met management, assuming the company makes it out of this summer alive.
For those of you still queasy after Mary Zimmerman’s sophomoric snarknado attack on Bellini’s La Sonnambula, the new DVD of the Stuttgart Opera production should provide a bracing restorative.
Coming as Peter Gelb did from the music industry, opera lovers hoped that he would display a more distinctive knack for casting and an improved talent pipeline than Joe Volpe offered during the waning years of his tenure.
Short answer: yes. But let’s begin by dismissing the a blatant canard. One thing that the Metropolitan Opera does not need to do is to scale back the number of performances in a season.
The Met’s financial challenges are not meteorological, demographic, or cyclical; they are structural.
Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s opera David et Jonathas, written for a celebration at a Jesuit school in 1688, premiered together with a Latin verse drama, Saul, now lost.
Stefan Herheim’s production of Parsifal for Bayreuth is the regie Holy Grail—a production that completely fulfills the promise and purpose of Regietheater.
Hans Neuenfels‘ new staging of Lohengrin for Bayreuth is the grimmest version of this work I’ve seen. Not that this opera is all bright lights and lollipops, but he gave us a particularly dark take on the work, motivated, in part, by Wagner’s writings at the time of the opera’s composition.
Fertilization; birth; growth; decay. Eating; digestion; defecation; fermentation; biogas recovery; food production. Wagner’s Tannhäuser is a meditation on the relentless, repetition of cycles that define our existence and man’s insistence on the possibility salvation despite all the biochemical evidence to the contrary.
Our Doyenne demonstrated her omniscience once again by sending me a DVD of Rimsky Korsakov’s Le Coq d’Or (Zolotoy Petushok) to review. I’m with musicologist Richard Taruskin who stated that Rimsky Korsakov was “perhaps the most underrated composer of all time” (and I’m sure his editor insisted on including the “perhaps”).
The ENO was filled with ghosts last week. Spectral, possibly illusory figures fleetingly materialized in the Internet chatrooms that provide the setting for much of Nico Muhly’s new opera Two Boys, and brutal boarding school memories came back to troubled life in director Christopher Alden’s dark take on Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The world has come to an end and we are at the end of the world, the collapsed ruins of a bridge that can no longer be crossed. There is no greenery; the few trees that are left are dead and being chopped down for fuel. Shell-shocked survivors wander through this hellscape, fighting over the…