Castles made of sand Castles made of sand

Jakub Józef Orlinski‘s “Stille amare” packed a lot of punch in terms of dramatic intensity.

on February 26, 2020 at 12:07 PM
Keep the Rome fires burning Keep the Rome fires burning

Handel’s biting Agrippina finally arrived at the Metropolitan Opera Thursday evening 310 years after its Venetian premiere.

on February 07, 2020 at 12:36 PM
Thus let few thanks be paid Thus let few thanks be paid

Kudos to Opera Philadelphia for programming Handel’s Semele in its exceptionally interesting and wide-ranging Festival 2019; unfortunately, despite an extraordinary cast, James Darrah’s drably dull production doomed it.

on September 23, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Made in the shade Made in the shade

Here’s a quick sprint through some recent (and a few maybe not-so-very-recent) Handel CDs that have been stacking up. 

on December 14, 2018 at 11:10 AM
Not the Messiah Not the Messiah

Four fine Handel-centric concerts from the Morgan Library to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center proved a bracing antidote to pervasive Messiah-mania.

on December 13, 2018 at 1:38 PM
Garden variety Garden variety

Amadigi di Gaula performed the Opera Settecento orchestra last Saturday night at St. George—Handel’s own parish church—fit perfectly into the venue.

on March 30, 2018 at 3:01 PM
Less than hero Less than hero

Iestyn Davies’s theatrical blandness combined with his vocal unsuitability for the role left a hole at the center of Rinaldo.

on March 26, 2018 at 11:48 AM
Better call Saul Better call Saul

Director Barrie Kosky’s Glyndebourne 2015 production of Handel’s 1739 oratorio Saul (released on Opus Arte DVD) shows imagination as well as a strong cast and design team.

on October 12, 2016 at 9:00 AM
Notes from the underground Notes from the underground

Director R.B. Schlather and his team explored Handel’s Orlando and the results, as seen at Monday night’s final presentation, proved uncommonly stimulating.

on April 29, 2015 at 2:47 PM
Isn’t it necromantic? Isn’t it necromantic?

St. Paul’s Chapel is the perfect site for Saul, Handel’s finest dramatic oratorio.

on January 04, 2015 at 1:16 PM
Saxon violence Saxon violence

His shaved head in striking contrast to his dark beard and glinting eyes, the implacable Tartar conqueror glowers at us from the CD cover, while the uncropped photo of countertenor Xavier Sabata (above) is even more disturbing, featuring his raised fist and forearm tightly wrapped in a leather belt.

on December 22, 2014 at 1:54 PM
In witch we serve In witch we serve

Sunday afternoon’s intermittently involving concert performance of Handel’s Alcina at Carnegie Hall starred an unusually intense Joyce DiDonato as a powerful sorceress blinded by her romantic delusions.

on October 27, 2014 at 11:33 PM
About last night About last night

For those who like their Handel loud, with no forfeit of baroque finesse, one promising solution is to make the hall smaller.

on September 21, 2014 at 8:00 AM
Twice on this island Twice on this island

Here’s a last-minute alert to a bit of baroque in downtown NYC: the project WhiteboxLab: SoundLounge will livestream performances of Handel’s Alcina tonight and tomorrow night (Sunday) starting each evening at 7:00 PM.

on September 20, 2014 at 1:59 PM
Theodora goes wild Theodora goes wild

Joined by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, The English Concert concluded the US leg of its current tour at Carnegie Hall Sunday with a complete performance of the darkly moving Theodora, Handel’s penultimate oratorio.

on February 03, 2014 at 11:41 PM
Herself you shall adore Herself you shall adore

From an early Mike Richter CD-ROM, “Odd Opera” comes this gem, a live performance of Handel’s Semele at Carnegie Hall on February 23, 1985, the 300th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

on January 09, 2014 at 2:55 PM
Teen queen Teen queen

Handel’s first surviving musical composition is Almira, the opera he wrote in a hurry when shake-ups at the Hamburg opera house, where the 19-year-old had been playing in the violin section, left a planned production unfinished.

on June 18, 2013 at 10:17 AM
Self-conquest Self-conquest

Probably no more than 100 gathered Tuesday in a curtained-off space in the lobby of NYC’s Gershwin Hotel to witness the North American premiere of Rodrigo by operamission.

on May 22, 2013 at 4:44 PM
Thrace off Thrace off

Nearly 30 years after a Handel opera last played there, Carnegie Hall presented The English Concert opening a three-year opera-oratorio project on Sunday afternoon with Radamisto.

on February 25, 2013 at 7:49 PM
Grand, hotel Grand, hotel

Sneaking in under the wire during the final week of May were two highpoints of New York’s opera season: the Cleveland Orchestra’s Salome with a stunning Nina Stemme and operamission’s revelatory US stage premiere of a complete edition of Handel’s first opera Almira.

on May 28, 2012 at 8:31 PM
Space cadet Space cadet

Yes, that’s the lovely and talented Cecilia Bartoli peeking out from under those bangs, offering us a glimpse of her first staged Cleopatra.

on May 26, 2012 at 4:30 PM

I half-wanted to dislike it; my expectations were very low. Renée Fleming in the Baroque, after her very uncertain recent outings in bel canto! Let’s face it; this year, her Rossini (Armida) and Donizetti (Lucrezia Borgia) did not cover her in glory. How, at this HD relay on December 3, would she cope with Handel’s…

on December 06, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Other than binging on seven or eight Agatha Christie novels in seventh grade, I can’t recall ever again reading another mystery novel, or what they now call “crime fiction.”  Perhaps it’s a coincidence but around that same age I attended my first opera and began subscribing to Opera News.  Hence, Commissario Guido Brunetti, hero of…

on May 27, 2011 at 10:55 AM