review / recording

Something close to cultishness Something close to cultishness

Over the course of 700 pages, Alex Ross exhaustively—and sometimes exhaustingly—examines an impact that began in the Wagner’s own lifetime and continues unbroken today, with references cropping up in contemporary works as different as The Matrix and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

on September 14, 2020 at 1:18 PM
Wild horses Wild horses

This video recording of Il trovatore is sensational for all the right and wrong reasons simultaneously.

on June 30, 2020 at 2:42 PM
Dueling duels Dueling duels

Mr. Wilson’s production concept, according to his liner notes, has more to do with Paris at the time of the premiere and a “world of memory” than it does with the storytelling of civil war in medieval Spain.

on June 29, 2020 at 1:58 PM
Jawdropper Jawdropper

Robert Wilson is many things: a visionary (certainly); an iconoclast, artist, director, and designer of sets, lighting, costumes, movement (and furniture). Yet his work is never boring (well, at least not intentionally).

on June 16, 2020 at 3:24 PM
On the beach On the beach

On the first viewing of this Idomeneo, with a cast clad mostly in military khaki green set against a green sky, the eye starts to tire from the dullness of the surroundings.

on June 02, 2020 at 11:23 AM
Tusk to tusk Tusk to tusk

Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana has always been a particular favorite, although I’ve only seen it staged once (and that by an amateur company the details of which I share spare you all, save to note that dinner was served during the performance.)

on May 27, 2020 at 2:11 PM
To love the language To love the language

With most of us dug in for the duration, there’s no better time to tuck into a CD box set of neglected treasures. Not that I needed an excuse, mind you.

on April 15, 2020 at 12:50 PM
What women want What women want

While isolated opera-lovers intently navigate the deluge of streaming videos being made available, I’ve been listening rather than viewing.

on April 14, 2020 at 4:04 PM
Nothing but the truth Nothing but the truth

On a new Opus Arte video, Ermonela Jaho is at the absolute peak of her powers both vocally and interpretively.

on November 19, 2019 at 11:26 AM
Killer queen Killer queen

Rossini’s Semiramide is a highly original and imaginative work of theater that impresses for its creative and beautifully scored orchestration, incisive recitatives and ensembles, and theatrically intriguing characters.

on October 08, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Wien disposition Wien disposition

Following classic recordings documenting the work of Karl Böhm and Herbert von Karajan. Orfeo’s 150 Years Wiener Staatsoper box moves on to new releases that are seeing their first incarnation on an officially available disc.

on August 24, 2019 at 12:03 PM
Wien to me Wien to me

Orfeo’s 150 Years box chronologically documents some of the finest nights of live opera from the Wiener Staatsoper in the years following its restoration in 1955.

on August 23, 2019 at 9:00 AM
A grandeur night for singing A grandeur night for singing

Die Zauberflöte is an opera!”  “No, it’s the first musical comedy!”

on August 07, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Bolder sister Bolder sister

Brigitte Fassbaender‘s sound is piquant and, I’d hazard to guess, instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with her work.

on June 20, 2019 at 9:00 AM