Cher Public

Dancer in the dark

One of the highlights of my college experience thus far was trying my hand at stage directing for the first time with Hugo von Hofmannstahl’s Electra in February. As I worked through the busy, evocative script with a group of talented young actors, I remember being continuously struck by just how much Hofmannsthal gave us to work with.  Read more »

Wunderbare Träume

waltraudYesterday we pondered two videos of Tristan und Isolde from the 20th century. Now let us move on to a performance that is definitively of the 21st. Patrice Chéreau, the humanist in provocateur’s clothing, returned to Wagner in 2007 at La Scala with Daniel Barenboim and Waltraud Meier. The three had first collaborated, memorably, on Berg’s Wozzeck more than a decade earlier.  Read more »

Not only with words, but with lively gestures

Elektra Marton“I will never sing the role again. It was frightful. We were a set of madwomen…There is nothing beyond Elektra. We have lived and reached the furthest boundaries in dramatic writing for the voice with Wagner. But Richard Strauss goes beyond him. His singing voices are lost. We have come to a full stop.”  Read more »

The chopping block?

After five flops in a row, Mr. McVicar continues to win new assignments from the Met.

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Final chapter

None of my previous Elektra experiences prepared me for this stunning, overwhelming performance from the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.

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Patrice Chéreau, 1944-2013

The celebrated opera director and filmmaker died today of lung cancer in Paris. He was 68.

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Winged victors

The winners of the ninth annual F. Paul Driscoll Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence (or, as they are colloquially known, the “Opera News Awards”) have been revealed.

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Canard à la mode

When people talk about an opera “production,” they tend to mean “the sets and costumes,” that is, the physical production.

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