review / recording

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
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