review / recording

Her kind of woman Her kind of woman

Plucked from obscurity by Howard Hughes and sold to the public as a buxom, brunette heir apparent to his former protégé, Jean Harlow, Jane Russell became a household name before she ever shot a single reel of film.

on June 24, 2021 at 12:00 PM
Selling the drama Selling the drama

Though the formal recorded aria recital is the ultimate calling card of an artist, the invitation to the spectator to receive, listen, and critically behold of the offerings (on fire or burnt), they are but a souvenir and there are a few drawbacks inherent with the presentation.

on June 22, 2021 at 12:14 PM
Telling the world we are not invisible Telling the world we are not invisible

Director Jon M. Chu’s film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights has come around at exactly the right moment.

on June 14, 2021 at 8:54 AM
Maddalena scene Maddalena scene

This solid if not stellar performance finds our diva in particularly passionate form. Maybe they should have re-titled it Maddalena?

on May 10, 2021 at 9:00 AM
Shade in the shadow Shade in the shadow

Ombra Compagna, out today on Pentatone, spotlights Lisette Oropesa  in 10 of Mozart’s most challenging concert arias accompanied by Il Pomo d’Oro conducted by Antonello Manacorda.

on May 07, 2021 at 9:00 AM
Gold dust Minnie Gold dust Minnie

Giacomo Puccini’s La fanciulla del West may have its detractors (Stravinsky referred to it as a “horse-opera’) but you will not find me among them.

on February 23, 2021 at 2:21 PM
Sparkle, Lisette, sparkle! Sparkle, Lisette, sparkle!

Opera Philadelphia Channel invites viewers to revisit a 2015 production of La Traviata, captured on the Academy of Music stage, that’s notable for Lisette Oropesa’s debut as Violetta Valéry.

on January 25, 2021 at 9:00 AM
Call of the wild Call of the wild

Call Out is an ample demonstration of Zachary James’ many talents—and an inspiring example of the artistic light that can be generated even when our theaters are temporarily dark.

on January 13, 2021 at 3:28 PM
That’s what friends are for That’s what friends are for

Erato’s irresistible Rossini collection Amici e Rivali is hands down my favorite vocal CD of 2020, featuring the inspired bravura sparrings of Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres.

on December 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Hear those magic reindeer click Hear those magic reindeer click

Jonas Kaufmann would like you know it’s Christmas. Well, not unlike a broken clock, he is right, at least for one day a year.

on December 25, 2020 at 2:19 PM
The mélodie lingers on The mélodie lingers on

Everything’s coming up mélodie! As the pandemic rages on and new lockdowns have thrown large-scale performances into disarray, record labels have been releasing new albums of French art song by the bucketload.

on November 27, 2020 at 2:15 PM
‘Tristan’ minus one ‘Tristan’ minus one

Imagine my surprise then when I discovered a new recording of Tristan und Isolde released by Navona Records, a small label based in New Hampshire that primarily focuses on recitals of chamber music, solo works, and smaller ensemble pieces.

on November 25, 2020 at 2:00 PM
Where the boys are Where the boys are

I often think of Boys in the Band as the gay play equivalent of Kern and Hammerstein’s Show Boat—it’s hugely important in theater history, but the politics have become extremely problematic.

on October 05, 2020 at 1:47 PM
Standing woman Standing woman

It struck me that Jamie Barton’s voice is not dissimilar to a Henry Moore sculpture: grand and monumental but never brash or ostentatious; eccentric and offbeat but always graceful and tastefully molded.

on October 05, 2020 at 12:33 PM