And all the rest is talk And all the rest is talk

“Labor! Oh, the problem of labor at the Met is gargantuan,” Our Own JJ (not pictured) would have said, had he thought of it.

The secret of nymph The secret of nymph

Mark Morris’ staging of Acis and Galatea at Lincoln Center is everything good about summer condensed into two hours.

Contrariwise Contrariwise

“The dark clouds hovering over Mr. Gelb should not obscure his very real achievements.”

Campus radical Campus radical

“Mr. Burden did his best to wrestle with what looked like a disused Dale Chihuly chandelier, but…”

Clash by day Clash by day

Our Own JJ (not pictured) debates Tim Smith, classical music critic of the Baltimore Sun, on the topic of the Met’s cancellation of the HD telecast of The Death of Klinghoffer.

La regina d’Inghilterra ho veduto cantar La regina d’Inghilterra ho veduto cantar

“At Carnegie Hall last Thursday, a capacity crowd witnessed what might be the final official act of a monarch who has reigned for more than four decades.”

Raven review Raven review

The NY Phil Biennial, a new music festival that is dedicated to new music, kicked off its first season at a drowsy time on the performing arts calendar, the week after Memorial Day.

Faites vos jeux, Messieurs! Faites vos jeux, Messieurs!

The Met may be missing an angle calculated to appeal to the more adventurous attendee: opera as game of chance.

“Senza rancor” “Senza rancor”

The winds of change sweep across the first post-9/11 issue of parterre box, the queer opera zine.

The girl on the moon The girl on the moon

“In Kristine Opolais, who gave her first Met performance in the title role on Friday night, the company has a Butterfly with the soaring voice and penetrating theatrical presence to meet Minghella’s elegant dramaturgy head on.”

“The Met’s Andrea Chénier: less exciting than it looks in this photo” “The Met’s Andrea Chénier: less exciting than it looks in this photo”

The sad fact, though, is that the Met is not doing a great job or, in most cases, even a competent job at this core task.

Liebestraum Liebestraum

“Opera can, in fact, be something beautiful and moving even when all a performance has going for it is some really excellent singing.”

After the thaw After the thaw

Our Own JJ (not pictured) offers his recommendations for 10 opera and classical music events worth hearing this spring.

Less than Zarah Less than Zarah

In a slight detour from the usual all-opera-all-the-time format of parterre box, the queer opera zine, issue #44 centers on Ben Letzler‘s superb appreciation of film and cabaret diva Zarah Leander.

Blood types Blood types

“The finale of Sweeney Todd left the stage of Avery Fisher Hall littered with corpses, but the evening, for all its flaws, felt vibrantly alive.”

Writers’ block Writers’ block

The last place you’d expect to find opera at all, let alone good, exciting opera, is in still-scrappy Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Slavas of New York Slavas of New York

Even when the opera performed is a masterpiece, a truly superb opera performance is exceedingly rare.

Happy February 1! Happy February 1!

To celebrate the birthday of Renata Tebaldi, our friends at Opera Depot are offering a free download of live performances by this great diva.

Catch of another day Catch of another day

“A charming musical performance welded to a dramatic production so old and stale that, like fish left out too long, it’s starting to smell.”

B. F. deal B. F. deal

Tenors Bryan Hymel (pictured) and Joseph Calleja redeem otherwise routine Puccini revivals at the Met, says Our Own JJ in the New York Observer.

Curious “Case” Curious “Case”

“…a perfect marriage of text and music, creating a series of tableau-like scenes, as if Paul’s story is being related through a series of exquisitely posed still photographs…”

Queens logic Queens logic

Saturday afternoon at 12:30 on WQXR’s magazine show Operavore, our own JJ talks about Mathilde Marchesi and Antony Roth Costanzo discusses his Orlofsky role in the Met’s Fledermaus.

The wrong note drag The wrong note drag

“…the Met’s brand new production of Die Fledermaus, which premiered on New Year’s Eve, is overproduced, undersung and interminable, less a holiday entertainment than a checklist of opera-making skills the company can’t seem to master.”

Towards zero Towards zero

Our Own JJ (not pictured) counts down his 10 favorite New York opera performances of 2013 in the New York Observer.