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
‘Lady’ Willpower ‘Lady’ Willpower

Lady M, an Online Fantasia on Verdi’s Macbeth, Heartbeat Opera’s creative and thought-provoking foray into the Zoom opera scene, left me feeling alternately pensive, hopeful and somewhat uneasy, in a good way.

on May 12, 2020 at 3:30 PM
Changing the lockdown Changing the lockdown

HERE’s Zoom opera, all decisions will be made by consensus, is not merely an opera written to be performed on a digital platform, but an opera that critiques the platform itself, laying bare all its social and aesthetic limitations.

on April 26, 2020 at 1:28 PM
To love the language To love the language

With most of us dug in for the duration, there’s no better time to tuck into a CD box set of neglected treasures. Not that I needed an excuse, mind you.

on April 15, 2020 at 12:50 PM
What women want What women want

While isolated opera-lovers intently navigate the deluge of streaming videos being made available, I’ve been listening rather than viewing.

on April 14, 2020 at 4:04 PM
Sisters were doing it for themselves Sisters were doing it for themselves

What we see here from Strasberg is frustratingly literal and drably conventional—it looks to me like he’s channeling a lot of received wisdom about how Chekhov should be staged and bringing almost nothing of his own to the process.

on March 23, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Ghost “Story” Ghost “Story”

Time to stop being coy, I think. You and I had quite different takeaways on the show, didn’t we?

on March 18, 2020 at 4:45 PM
Photographic memory Photographic memory

For a show set during the hardscrabble 1930s, very few of the performances give off an air of downtroddedness.

on March 13, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Group therapy Group therapy

As long as women have been preyed upon, Don Giovanni has been relevant.

on March 10, 2020 at 1:31 PM
Unfinished sympathy Unfinished sympathy

It’s difficult to discuss Unknown Soldier without considering the impact of legacy.

on March 09, 2020 at 8:47 PM
From the HIP From the HIP

We are in the midst of a titanic Beethoven onslaught prompted by the unstoppable need to commemorate the composer’s upcoming 250th birthday.

on March 09, 2020 at 5:54 PM