Cher Public

Soldiering on

Britten’s penultimate opera, the anti-war ghost story Owen Wingrave, was composed for television performance in 1971, and the cast of that original staging was a golden book of the great Britten singers of his times: Janet Baker, Heather Harper, Peter Pears,John Shirley-Quirk, Benjamin LuxonRead more »

Wall to wall

Thursday evening Piramo e Tisbe demonstrated that its assembled forces were the little opera theatre of ny that could. Could what? Produce—with scads of talent and taste—a beautifully satisfying local premiere of the 18th century intermezzo tragico by the nearly forgotten Johann Adolf Hasse.  Read more »

Cross fit

Opera composers do not often change their spots. Everyone honors Verdi, whose septuagenarian operas ring wonderful changes on a long and spectacular career, but in this as in so many ways, Verdi was unique. It is astonishing that Carlisle Floyd, whose Susannah was a hit sixty years ago, has now, at ninety, presented us with another opera—his sixteenth. But it does not signal much of an advance on its predecessors.  Read more »

Alcoholics astonished

Christoph Willibald Gluck wrote some fifty operatic works, not counting revisions and translations, and in every form extant in the two cities, Paris and Vienna, in which he made his career. There were opera seria, opéras-comiques, ballets-pantomimes and so on down to the great “reform” operas of his last twenty years that are all we ever hear nowadays. Read more »