Cher Public

Larry Mellman

Speed kills

“Sheer vocal beauty”: Nicole Cabell as Violetta.

“Another lousy Traviata” is the meme du jour. Minnesota Opera’s stab at boosting revenue with extra performances of something surefire never caught fire.  Read more »

The opposite Sox

Last night I saw the Minnesota Opera production of the world premiere of The Fix (Joel Puckett, music; Eric Simonson, libretto). I anticipated West Side Story meets Field of Dreams with athletic, Jerome Robbins-style choreography. What I got was a delicately wrought, gorgeously orchestrated, beautifully sung paean to a lost American dream.  Read more »

The farce of destiny

Horse Eats Hat was Orson Welles’ title for his Mercury Theater production of Labiche & Michel’s The Italian Straw Hat, in which a horse makes a snack of a hat that belongs to wife while she is meeting with her lover, and the man to whom the horse belongs (who is about to get married), has to find a replacement hat so the wife’s husband doesn’t shoot her before he can marry his bride, whose father is ready to call the whole thing off.  Read more »

The rich are different from you and me

Whether you love the 2018 Berlin Staatsoper Tristan and Isolde depends on what you think the opera is about. In my opinion, this production brilliantly projects the inner life of Wagner’s 19th century masterwork onto the 21st century.  Read more »

Against the grain

I wondered if there truly is a future for opera other than as an overpriced museum piece for an aging audience who likes their sets lavish, their productions non-challenging, and their singers telegenic. 

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