The mélodie lingers on The mélodie lingers on

Everything’s coming up mélodie! As the pandemic rages on and new lockdowns have thrown large-scale performances into disarray, record labels have been releasing new albums of French art song by the bucketload.

on November 27, 2020 at 2:15 PM
‘Tristan’ minus one ‘Tristan’ minus one

Imagine my surprise then when I discovered a new recording of Tristan und Isolde released by Navona Records, a small label based in New Hampshire that primarily focuses on recitals of chamber music, solo works, and smaller ensemble pieces.

on November 25, 2020 at 2:00 PM
Recasting the mold Recasting the mold

Kennedy Center could not have predicted just how aptly Saturday evening’s rescheduled recital of 2020 Marian Anderson Award winner, baritone Will Liverman, would respond to the moment.

on November 10, 2020 at 3:57 PM
Bel canto, from a distance Bel canto, from a distance

I’ll just note that Cameron and I listened separately; we didn’t compare notes; and on our own, came up with the same list of top three singers… none of whom were among the actual winners.

on October 28, 2020 at 11:38 AM
Atlantis in Atlanta Atlantis in Atlanta

“Once upon a time / Lived a foolish king. / Mocking Death, his crime, / Pure chaos he bring.”

on October 27, 2020 at 2:28 PM
A couple of misfits A couple of misfits

Diana Damrau and Joseph Calleja presented an uneven program in a lavish setting this weekend in the most recent entry in the Met’s concert series.

on October 26, 2020 at 11:06 PM
Friend me a tenor Friend me a tenor

A particularly heartbreaking aspect of the pandemic shutdown has, of course, been helplessly watching rising artists have their careers plunged into indefinite silence. But for a few bold souls who are willing to try new things, the moment has also opened doors.

on October 26, 2020 at 2:52 PM
Where the boys are Where the boys are

I often think of Boys in the Band as the gay play equivalent of Kern and Hammerstein’s Show Boat—it’s hugely important in theater history, but the politics have become extremely problematic.

on October 05, 2020 at 1:47 PM
A ‘Barbiere’ of quality A ‘Barbiere’ of quality

What a joy when a comic opera gets you cackling through the whole night, discovering new nuances and perspectives from an oft-seen work and delighted with wonderful singing!

on October 05, 2020 at 1:22 PM
Standing woman Standing woman

It struck me that Jamie Barton’s voice is not dissimilar to a Henry Moore sculpture: grand and monumental but never brash or ostentatious; eccentric and offbeat but always graceful and tastefully molded.

on October 05, 2020 at 12:33 PM
Something close to cultishness Something close to cultishness

Over the course of 700 pages, Alex Ross exhaustively—and sometimes exhaustingly—examines an impact that began in the Wagner’s own lifetime and continues unbroken today, with references cropping up in contemporary works as different as The Matrix and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

on September 14, 2020 at 1:18 PM
Dreaming a world Dreaming a world

Fueled by a fierce intelligence, deep earnestness, exceptional eloquence, and social media savvy, Joyce DiDonato is a presence and a power, as much when speaking and thinking as when singing. Who better to imagine a program that would suit this (we hope) unique moment?

on September 12, 2020 at 4:29 PM
Music, give us hope Music, give us hope

It was hard for me not to get choked up, watching two of AVA’s most promising young graduates having to make this opportunity for themselves, and doing it with such palpable good humor.

on September 10, 2020 at 10:46 AM
Dish honored Dish honored

Lise Davidsen turned in a fine performance Saturday, cementing her up-and-coming star status in an eclectic program given from the Oscarshall Palace in Oslo.

on August 31, 2020 at 9:56 AM
By the beautiful sea By the beautiful sea

On Sunday afternoon, husband-and-wife duo Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak presented a charming program of operatic favorites from the patio of the Château de la Chèvre d’Or in Èze, France.

on August 17, 2020 at 11:40 AM
Inside, outside Inside, outside

“While Renée Fleming performed without an audience, DG Stage offered Puccini’s beloved melodrama Tosca before an outdoor crowd in Naples.”

on August 04, 2020 at 9:16 AM
Day at the museum Day at the museum

Renée Fleming presented a satisfyingly eclectic and quietly daring program of songs and arias, an interesting timestamp on a career that, despite its crepuscular vibe, seems as active as ever.

on August 02, 2020 at 9:55 AM
Outsider art Outsider art

Rigoletto at Circo Massimo was my first opera since the lockdown started in March.

on July 23, 2020 at 11:03 AM
Wild horses Wild horses

This video recording of Il trovatore is sensational for all the right and wrong reasons simultaneously.

on June 30, 2020 at 2:42 PM
Dueling duels Dueling duels

Mr. Wilson’s production concept, according to his liner notes, has more to do with Paris at the time of the premiere and a “world of memory” than it does with the storytelling of civil war in medieval Spain.

on June 29, 2020 at 1:58 PM
Jawdropper Jawdropper

Robert Wilson is many things: a visionary (certainly); an iconoclast, artist, director, and designer of sets, lighting, costumes, movement (and furniture). Yet his work is never boring (well, at least not intentionally).

on June 16, 2020 at 3:24 PM
Golden splendor and hell Golden splendor and hell

I have seen all sorts of Boris Godunovs, but nothing quite like this.

on June 08, 2020 at 1:19 PM
On the beach On the beach

On the first viewing of this Idomeneo, with a cast clad mostly in military khaki green set against a green sky, the eye starts to tire from the dullness of the surroundings.

on June 02, 2020 at 11:23 AM
Tusk to tusk Tusk to tusk

Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana has always been a particular favorite, although I’ve only seen it staged once (and that by an amateur company the details of which I share spare you all, save to note that dinner was served during the performance.)

on May 27, 2020 at 2:11 PM