critics and their criticism

Come to the record store in old Peking Come to the record store in old Peking

In the lead up to LA Opera’s mounting of Turandot on May 18th (hooray!) I thought I’d touch on some of my favorite recordings and new re-masters I’ve discovered. I have them all.

on May 10, 2024 at 9:00 AM
If you could see it through my eyes If you could see it through my eyes

Each successive version pushed the envelope further… and was less effective.

on May 09, 2024 at 9:00 AM
The commendatore effect The commendatore effect

In an ingenious stroke of double casting, the Met’s new Forza del destino brings back the Marquis of Calatrava—father of the heroine Leonora, unintentionally killed in the opening scene by a bullet from her lover’s pistol—as Padre Guardiano, Father Superior of the monastery that will take her under its protection as a hermit in Act 2.

on March 08, 2024 at 9:00 AM
For so our master said For so our master said

Ah, that Bernstein dichotomy.

on December 29, 2023 at 9:00 AM
Unchanged for good Unchanged for good

No show should last 20 years.

on November 17, 2023 at 9:00 AM
Ace of bass Ace of bass

On February 10 of this year was the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Italian basso Cesare Siepi. I found that this milestone was scarcely noted in the opera press.

on October 11, 2023 at 9:00 AM
Turn and face the strange Turn and face the strange

How appropriate that the Met should present this supposedly “Jewish” opera after many in the audience had just spent twelve days immersed in the genuine article over the High Holy Days.

on October 02, 2023 at 9:00 AM
Rebranding the Met Rebranding the Met

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.

on January 11, 2023 at 11:32 AM
Leveling up or leveling down? Leveling up or leveling down?

Arts Council England, as a global policy trendsetter, may have sounded the death knell for the international opera industry as we know it.

on December 02, 2022 at 12:00 PM
“Oh, thoughtless crew! Ye know not what ye do!” “Oh, thoughtless crew! Ye know not what ye do!”

One wonders whether an obsession with metrics and measurement has the potential to create arts organizations that are more preoccupied with finding systems that quickly and efficiently tick the Arts Council’s boxes than with creating meaningful, impactful art.

on November 30, 2022 at 3:19 PM
A game of 3-D chess A game of 3-D chess

“Opera needs a reset. We think there needs to be a fundamental shift in the ecology.”

on November 28, 2022 at 1:21 PM
Ever-present Ever-present

Edita Gruberová was one of the most fascinating individuals I have ever known. 

on October 25, 2022 at 3:31 PM
Her favorite roles Her favorite roles

Edita Gruberova considered her greatest pride and loves not her career but her daughters Klaudia and Barbara and grandchildren Cris, Denis, and Alyssa.

on October 24, 2022 at 4:25 PM
The rest is silence The rest is silence

Despite the diminishing returns of her vocal means, Edita Gruberova‘s last years of her career were if anything more successful than ever.

on September 22, 2022 at 4:24 PM