review / recording

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
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