Cher Public

Berlin wall

Since it premiered seven years ago, the Suzanne Andrade/Barrie Kosky animated production of Die Zauberflöte has proved wildly popular and has been remounted all over the world. Why then, during its New York City premiere Wednesday night for the opening of the Mostly Mozart Festival, did I mostly want to close my eyes and just listen? Read more »

There is no spoon

Alisa Jordheim and Oliver Sewell in “La Gazza Ladra.”

Can a work with pages and pages of indisputably great music fail to add up to a successful opera? I puzzled over that Sunday during the four hours of Teatro Nuovo’s essential concert staging of Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra at SUNY Purchase. Luckily this perplexing yet enthralling semiseria will be repeated in Manhattan on Thursday at the Rose Theater and no one interested in bel canto should miss it. Read more »

Moody “Blue”

This weekend, sandwiched between a persuasive production of The Ghosts of Versailles and a routine revival of La Traviata, the Glimmerglass Festival premiered a searing examination of race, identity, and the fraught relationship between communities of color and law enforcement. Blue, with a score by Jeanine Tesori and libretto by Tazewell Thompson (who also directs), brings the joy and terror of raising – and being – a young Black man in America to the opera stage. Read more »

Drama is real

Bass Daniel Fridley, who offered “plenty of spin and sparkle in his voice, perfect diction, and the exact resonance and gravitas I look for in a bass.”

Teatro Nuovo put on a perfectly delightful show on Thursday night including the New York premiere of Donizetti’s Symphony in E minor and Rossini’s Stabat Mater in the Church of the Heavenly Rest. Read more »

Defying gravitas

Benjamin Yarmolinsky’s The Constitution: A Secular Oratorio, performed by Vertical Player Repertory on Thursday evening, was an awful lot of legal speak for one evening.

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From Russia with love

Under any circumstances, the Russian Opera Workshop’s radiant concert performance of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta would have been an event to celebrate.

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Nixon in Jersey: The Renixoning

The singers and the orchestra carry the show, but where do they carry it?

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A little ‘Nixon’ goes a long way

The Princeton Festival has long been a “Little Engine that Could,” but the current operatic offering, John Adams’ Nixon in China, is a good deal more than that.

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