Cher Public

Speed kills

“Sheer vocal beauty”: Nicole Cabell as Violetta.

“Another lousy Traviata” is the meme du jour. Minnesota Opera’s stab at boosting revenue with extra performances of something surefire never caught fire.  Read more »

The opposite Sox

Last night I saw the Minnesota Opera production of the world premiere of The Fix (Joel Puckett, music; Eric Simonson, libretto). I anticipated West Side Story meets Field of Dreams with athletic, Jerome Robbins-style choreography. What I got was a delicately wrought, gorgeously orchestrated, beautifully sung paean to a lost American dream.  Read more »

The farce of destiny

Horse Eats Hat was Orson Welles’ title for his Mercury Theater production of Labiche & Michel’s The Italian Straw Hat, in which a horse makes a snack of a hat that belongs to wife while she is meeting with her lover, and the man to whom the horse belongs (who is about to get married), has to find a replacement hat so the wife’s husband doesn’t shoot her before he can marry his bride, whose father is ready to call the whole thing off.  Read more »

Commie dearest

The Manchurian Candidate is indeed operatic: outsized characters, a doomed love story and a narrative fraught with suspense. The opera by Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell premiered on Saturday presented by Minnesota Opera, which also premiered Puts’ and Campbell’s first collaboration, Silent Night in 2011 and has pioneered in commissioning new works. Read more »