Dawn Fatale

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.


The unusual suspects The unusual suspects

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?”

on October 08, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Something Aten! Something Aten!

Akhnaten, seen at the Los Angeles Opera on November 13 tells the story of the Pharaoh who abandoned traditional Egyptian polytheism.

on November 15, 2016 at 11:10 AM
The elephant in the room The elephant in the room

At the election-eve Jenufa at the Met, Trumpism made an unexpected, if timely appearance.

on November 08, 2016 at 10:45 AM
But the Levy was dry But the Levy was dry

The redevelopment that took place at Lincoln Center during Reynold Levy’s tenure as president of Lincoln Center represents a considerable accomplishment.

on July 21, 2015 at 12:42 PM
Be my guest! Be my guest!

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.

on February 16, 2015 at 9:00 AM
The year in Dawn The year in Dawn

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.

on December 31, 2014 at 2:00 PM
Moody’s blues Moody’s blues

Last week, Moody’s Investor Services delivered yet another piece of yet another piece of bad news for the Metropolitan Opera.

on December 26, 2014 at 11:29 AM
The sound of silence The sound of silence

This past week of contract negotiations at the Metropolitan Opera has been notable for the absence of any new PowerPoint presentations or fustian proclamations.

on August 17, 2014 at 11:56 AM
A little list A little list

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.

on July 08, 2014 at 9:30 AM
We have always slept in the castle We have always slept in the castle

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.

on June 16, 2014 at 9:20 AM
The Met: What is to be done? The Met: What is to be done?

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.

on April 15, 2014 at 1:24 AM
The Met: Can it be saved? The Met: Can it be saved?

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.

on March 27, 2014 at 8:00 AM
The Met: what’s really wrong? The Met: what’s really wrong?

The Met’s financial challenges are not meteorological, demographic, or cyclical; they are structural.

on March 18, 2014 at 9:17 AM
Falling in love, never again Falling in love, never again

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.

on September 14, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Stefan Herheim’s production of Parsifal for Bayreuth is the regie Holy Grail—a production that completely fulfills the promise and purpose of Regietheater.

on September 07, 2011 at 9:55 AM

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. 

on September 01, 2011 at 1:20 PM

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.

on August 29, 2011 at 9:10 PM

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”). 

on August 21, 2011 at 7:12 PM

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. 

on July 08, 2011 at 10:57 AM

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…

on March 23, 2011 at 4:39 AM

Opera is about the possibility of transformation. An unassuming woman can walk in through the theater’s stage door and emerge on stage as fiery princess capable of making the walls rattle.  Alas, these transformations inevitably fail to stick.  Every Turandot must hang up her crown; every Elektra must put down her ax one final time.…

on March 19, 2011 at 11:22 AM

In the summer of 2007, at the height of the heated speculation and public debates over who would succeed Wolfgang Wagner as the head of the Bayreuth Festival, his daughter, Katharina Wagner presented a new production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the festival, replacing the mind-numbingly boring one by her father (his third at…

on January 24, 2011 at 10:09 AM
Dawn of the Philistines Dawn of the Philistines

I’m not sure who I find more annoying – the partisans who vigorously defend Luc Bondy‘s production of Tosca at the Met or those who decry it.  As Bondy’s production replaces one of the Met’s signature offerings, both groups have seized on this event as a watershed event in the history of opera in America…

on October 13, 2009 at 12:34 PM