Cher Public

Riding on empty

Tiffany Townsend and Sophia Hunt in Empty the House

It rained nonstop in Philadelphia the evening I saw Riders to the Sea and Empty the House. But it was nothing compared to what happened on stage in two works awash with water as metaphor.  Read more »

Razors, edge

Curtis Opera continued its season using the Prince Theater as their venue. That alliance took on particular resonance here, as the company ventured Sweeney Todd. The famous first production in 1979 was, of course, directed by Harold Prince, and surely represents one of his (and composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s) crowning achievements.  Read more »

Trouble in paradise

Although Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti is always categorized as an opera, the piece certainly has one foot planted firmly in his jazzy musical-theater style.  Read more »

Back to the beach

Were La Rondine an IQ test, I’d be in trouble. It is considered “lesser” Puccini, even a touch embarrassing, but I love it. If Mozart is the great composer of unforced, mysterious, heart stopping pathos, then Puccini must be the not so great composer of aching nostalgia and sorrowing loss.  Read more »