Flawless! Flawless!

At the Metropolitan Opera on Friday night, an otherwise undistinguished Traviata was salvaged by an astonishing performance from Aleksandra Kurzak, whose Violetta was an incontrovertible triumph.

on January 12, 2020 at 12:49 PM
Queen of the New Year Queen of the New Year

Although the gold glitter cannons detonated at the end of the act were an ostentatious reminder that this was a celebration of the new year, it seemed that the only words on anyone’s lips as the audience filed out of the theater were “Viva Netrebko!”

on January 02, 2020 at 7:30 PM
The Stuff and Nonsense Dreams Are Made On The Stuff and Nonsense Dreams Are Made On

The New York Gilbert And Sullivan Players is giving its umpteenth production of The Mikado through next Sunday at the Kaye Playhouse, and the show remains frisky and first rate.

on December 31, 2019 at 12:12 PM
Faces in the crowd Faces in the crowd

Saturday night’s Rosenkavalier at the Met was an evening of excess — beautiful singing, sensitive acting, elaborate sets, and an unfortunate business that mars Robert Carsen’s otherwise excellent production.

on December 30, 2019 at 8:34 AM
For unto us a child is born For unto us a child is born

Each year, when I take in a performance of Messiah by the Philadelphia Orchestra as part of my own holiday tradition, I hope it will spark some new and exciting feeling inside of me, or offer a new way of looking at the musical drama as a whole.

on December 23, 2019 at 8:41 AM
Speaking to a missed opportunity Speaking to a missed opportunity

Greater Clements provokes more genuine poignancy than the whole of The Inheritance in half the running time. There’s hardly a moment that isn’t painfully true to life.

on December 17, 2019 at 12:45 PM
Distant ‘Light’ Distant ‘Light’

Whether Lyric Opera of Chicago is an appropriate venue for such an intimate, gentle show as The Light in the Piazza is a subject of much critical debate.

on December 17, 2019 at 12:14 PM
You better sit down kids You better sit down kids

If Sunday’s performance of Magic Flute at the Met demonstrated one thing, it is that opera targeted at children must be just as good as (if not better than) opera targeted at adults.

on December 16, 2019 at 10:33 AM
Bass instinct Bass instinct

Günther Groissböck’s ridiculously entertaining Baron Ochs and Sir Simon Rattle’s enthralling conducting soared highest during a mostly excellent revival of Der Rosenkavalier.

on December 16, 2019 at 9:00 AM
A dark horse in every closet A dark horse in every closet

Mozart and Donizetti could humanize characters in a farce—Mercadante in I due FIgaro cannot get a handle on them.

on December 15, 2019 at 1:46 PM
“Jagged” —  with sophistication “Jagged” —  with sophistication

Jagged Little Pill is as manicured as the kind of Stepfordian society the material supposedly rails against.

on December 14, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Give me libertine Give me libertine

Ryan McKinny’s Don is subtler, slyer, smoother, with a sharp wit and sense of dark humor that gives added dimension to the role.

on December 07, 2019 at 1:25 PM
The real deal The real deal

Yusif Eyvazov dominated Friday’s Met premiere of Pikovaya Dama with a fearless, world-class portrayal that instantly transformed the opera into December’s must-see event.

on December 01, 2019 at 6:39 PM
Sweet 1600s Sweet 1600s

Over the past week New York City was blessed by two appealing 17th century presentations: John Blow’s Venus and Adonis from Opera Lafayette and La Storia di Orfeo courtesy of the Boston Early Music Festival.

on November 29, 2019 at 1:25 PM
Strange magic Strange magic

We’ve had a mini-fest of director Barrie Kosky’s work this year at LA Opera.

on November 27, 2019 at 1:54 PM
Sweet prince Sweet prince

South African Jacques Imbrailo’s high-lying baritone did much to highlight the lyrical possibilities of the title role of Hamlet, originally conceived for a tenor.

on November 27, 2019 at 12:41 PM
Moods for moderns Moods for moderns

Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin, always with a gift for gab, is ever more loquacious in concerts, often talking directly to the audience.

on November 25, 2019 at 4:46 PM
Bleak house Bleak house

Karita Mattila’s Ortrud, taut conducting, and a remarkable debut emerge from Richard Jones’s dreary Lohengrin Konzept.

on November 25, 2019 at 9:26 AM
Maid love Maid love

The Berta (mezzo-soprano Emily Damasco) runs away with the show.

on November 25, 2019 at 8:30 AM
Grimm and proper Grimm and proper

Bring your family: This show is special! Such perfect opera is hard to find!

on November 19, 2019 at 2:16 PM
Darkness on the edge of town Darkness on the edge of town

Lyric Opera of Chicago’as Don Giovanni lands smack dab in the middle of our current debate about wanted or unwanted sexual advances and outright sexual abuse.

on November 19, 2019 at 11:51 AM
One night only One night only

Christine Goerke‘s distracted, tentative Isolde turned out to be the least potent feature of what was an otherwise exciting and effective second act of Tristan.

on November 19, 2019 at 10:37 AM
Reform follows function Reform follows function

Love in Hate Nation is a little musical that could and can… and I sure as hell hope it does!

on November 18, 2019 at 4:34 PM
Let your love flow Let your love flow

Saturday afternoon’s performance of Le Nozze di Figaro at the Met was awash with contradictions.

on November 18, 2019 at 8:00 AM