Cher Public

Pigment of the imagination

With the coming of spring, both sides of my professional life—as a critic and a college administrator/teacher—get busier. The former sees an uptick with last shows of the season; the latter means preparation for graduation. In both cases, it’s a time of endings and beginnings; also, as they say in Fiddler on the Roof, laden with happiness and tears.  Read more »

They love a piano

Piano, pianissimo, pianississimo. In music, usually this means soft, softer, and even softer. This time, though, I mean it literally: the musical instrument—pianos, more pianos, even more pianos. Uprights of various vintages are moved around strategically in arresting configurations. This forest of pianos is the only furniture on the stage, aside from a bench or two.  Read more »

Dream a little ‘Dream’

It may have taken 28 years to see Robert Carsen’s production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the U. S., but it was worth waiting for. Kudos to Opera Philadelphia for making it happen—and for delivering a sensational version, both musically and theatrically.  Read more »

Dark shadows

Those who want a rethought Lucia to allow the heroine more sense of agency will be especially confounded at Laurent Pelly’s reading.

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Touch the sky

It would be hard to imagine a more apt and poignant metaphor for the ambitious O18 Festival than the world premiere of Lembit Beecher and Hannah Moscovitch’s Sky on Swings. 

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Thank you for smoking

How do you like your Carmen? Mezzo or soprano? Flirtatious? Confrontational? Smolderingly sexy?

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Stop the wedding

Opera Philadelphia ended its season with Le Nozze di Figaro, Friday, and it will play May 3, 5, and 7—a matinee. Figaro is considered by most to be one of the few perfect operas and although it’s perhaps too easily encountered in routine run-throughs, there are usually rewards in seeing it. 

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The opposite of sax

Opera Philadelphia announced today that Lawrence Brownlee has joined the company as an Artistic Advisor.

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