Cher Public

Nixon in preview

nixon_in_chinaThere were a disproportionate number of young people at the Met today—even younger than me, which is really young. That made me happy and smile while filing in line to enter the auditorium. Hopefully this is the next generation of undying fans and queens about to plunge into a “new” world of opera spearheaded by John AdamsNixon in China from the 80s: a MET premiere no less!

But let’s get to the dish of this dress.  Read more »


kaufmann_gheorghiuI saw the final dress rehearsal of Adriana Lecouvreur at the Royal Opera House on Monday this week, and I think I have never seen the place so crowded for such an event. No wonder, for here was a cast you might dream of, in a highly finished piece of work mounted by one of our finest directors, shown without any perceptible hitch. Read more »

Edgar Allan Nouveau

Edgar_Allan_Poe_by_VallottonA painter’s nightmares of death start to become real. A man’s lover dies of a flesh-eating plague and inhabits the body of a new young fling. A TV news anchor finds herself on the other side of the headlines, drowning in the Holland Tunnel. If Edgar Allan Poe were alive today, these are the operas he might have written.  Read more »

Gettin’ Ligeti Wit It

When invited to participate in a discourse on artistic standards (hello, internet!), it’s easy — pleasurable, even — for an aesthete to bray about “the fall.” Where are the true heldentenors? Your kingdom for a Callas! (Or a Stratas, or a Rysanek!) And might the public, at long last, deserve a stable of directors who possess the good sense to avoid both the trope-y familiar as well as the ill-advised pathways of, ugh, the modern?

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Confection on a Dance Floor

La Cieca breathlessly offers you a sneak preview of one of this spring’s most eagerly awaited CDs. 

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A glimpse of Il mondo della luna, the Gotham Chamber Opera production opening tonight at NYC’s Hayden Planetarium.

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Gualtier tells “Tales”

So, I was asking my friends with Met Opera insider connections about the new Hoffmann production directed by Bartlett Sher. Seemingly conceived under an unlucky star, this production first lost two of its four heroines when Anna Netrebko decided not sing Olympia and Giulietta but kept Antonia and also Stella, leaving the dramaturgy somewhat lopsided.

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The premiere of Hugo Weisgall’s 1993 Esther at New York City Opera occupied my mind for several days – though maybe not for the best reasons.  As I wrote earlier, it is a work that emanates, belatedly, from what might be called The Twelve-Tone Industrial Complex, that uptown conservatory lobby of the 1950s and 60s, which was based on a widely-held notion that Tonality Is Dead. 

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