Cher Public

I’m no angel

Bard’s cultish Summerscape series continues to test our esoteric limits with Demon, Anton Rubinstein’s little-known opera about a demon who hankers for a Georgian princess. The work, which debuted in 1875, was for many years a sellout at the Mariinsky, captivating the Russian public with its brutish take on Lermontov’s racy poem of the same name. To this day it’s still performed over there with some frequency. Here in the West, the opera’s hardly known.  Read more »

The kiss we never dared we’ll dare in dreaming

Forget starry Neverland: if you’ve ever wondered what the Lost Boys’ abode might look like lined with mermaids, shopping carts, and unpeeled potatoes, look no further than Bard College’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, where Christopher Alden’s new production of Peter Pan debuted last month for a three-week run ending July 22.  Read more »

And the villain still pursued her

Last month tenor Piotr Beczala triumphantly posted on Instagram the news that the Theater an der Wien would produce Stanislaw Moniuszko’s Halka in 2019. However New Yorkers didn’t have to wait two years as Bard College presented a semi-staged concert of Halka on Saturday evening as part of its impressively wide-ranging two-week “Chopin and his World” festival.  Read more »

Catch a falling tsar

You’d think by now I’d know better than to make snap judgments about an opera or a singer—but apparently not. By the first intermission of Bard Summerscape’s production of Dvorak’s grand Dimitrij on Sunday I’d decided the piece was static and uninvolving, surely the reasons it’s so rarely done. And after the second act I was scratching my head wondering why one of the sopranos had been hired. But I had to ruefully acknowledge the error of my ways on both accounts by the time the sold-out audience erupted in cheers at the end.  Read more »

Unbridled enthusiasm

“You see, Elaine, Dimitrij was a simple country boy, you might say a cockeyed optimist…”

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When the sun comes out

This year as part of Bard’s “Puccini and His World” festival audiences may witness the resurrection of Mascagni’s distinctly odd Iris.

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Tomb raider

Despite the continued popularity of Der Freischütz in German-speaking countries, are the magical mature operas of Carl Maria von Weber otherwise really so problematic, their libretti so unwieldy to explain their continued absence from the world’s stages?

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It’s not easy being Greek

Sergey Taneyev, pupil of Tchaikovsky and teacher of Scriabin and Rachmaninov, composed just one opera, Oresteia, premiered in 1895 when he was 39.

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