Did I mention there’s a mime? Did I mention there’s a mime?

In terms of wild applause, it was Donna Murphy as Aurelia who was front and center, exciting the audience to a fervor with each re-emergence on the stage.

on March 24, 2023 at 9:00 AM
This is the part when I break free This is the part when I break free

Following the great success of its new piece The Factotum, Lyric Opera of Chicago returned to the tried and true with the audience-pleaser Carmen in an equally tried and true 20-year old Lyric production that has stood the test of time.

on March 21, 2023 at 11:00 AM
Soho meets Sybil Soho meets Sybil

On Friday, MCal Performances—the performing arts organization based at University of California, Berkeley—presented the US premiere of South African multi-disciplinary artist William Kentridge’s Sybil, with music composed and conceived by Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Kyle Shepherd.

on March 21, 2023 at 9:00 AM
Diva moment Diva moment

Angela Meade, reportedly flown in at the very last minute to take on the role of Norma, absolutely triumphed, pulling out all the stops to deliver a commanding performance that should, indeed, go down in history.

on March 19, 2023 at 9:50 AM
Moody ‘Blue’ Moody ‘Blue’

Originally scheduled for a D.C. premiere in spring 2020 but thwarted by the pandemic, Washington National Opera was finally able to present composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tazewell Thompson’s Blue at the Kennedy Center last Saturday.

on March 16, 2023 at 11:47 AM
Citizen of the world Citizen of the world

Mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron showed herself unafraid to move the expectations of classical music forward, linguistically, thematically, and culturally.

on March 16, 2023 at 11:20 AM
Happy, happy solo woman Happy, happy solo woman

There’s nothing unusual about casting a woman in Solomon‘s titular role.

on March 15, 2023 at 8:00 AM
Radically giddy Radically giddy

Verdi’s Falstaff is a brilliantly written opera: funny, with a complex ability to operate across minutely shifting registers of farce and lyricism. It needs, ideally, a production and cast capable of executing both comedy and drama, irony and sincerity—often concurrently. In its current Met revival, happily, Falstaff has everything it needs.

on March 14, 2023 at 4:32 PM
Overachiever Overachiever

The program for Jasmine Rice LaBeijas concert as part of Works & Process at the Guggenheim on Wednesday, March 8 read a bit like a curriculum vitae.

on March 13, 2023 at 4:30 PM
“You must change your life” “You must change your life”

This was a wonderful concert because MIchael Tilson Thomas approached every moment of it with an air of expansiveness and gratitude.

on March 13, 2023 at 3:52 PM
It might as well be Einspring It might as well be Einspring

I can’t imagine anything more anxiety-inducing than being put in at last-minute to sing a role in a high-profile production at the Met.

on March 13, 2023 at 3:04 PM
Hear the trumpets sound! Hear the trumpets sound!

Frankly I thought Sondra Radvanovsky had reached her pinnacle with her Norma but I was apparently mistaken. I’m happy to say her Turandot is completely next-level.

on March 11, 2023 at 8:00 AM
Touched by a fallen Angel Touched by a fallen Angel

Angel Blue‘s refulgent, lush soprano blooms as Violetta’s vocal lines broaden and soar.

on March 10, 2023 at 1:34 PM
Monsters, no-neck and otherwise Monsters, no-neck and otherwise

Through a lucky coincidence of timing, I was able to catch up with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, a play I adore, in two productions playing at the same time.

on March 09, 2023 at 10:00 AM
Distinct and different Distinct and different

The Vienna Philharmonic brought along no star soloist for their three-night residency at Carnegie Hall this past weekend. Their programs didn’t include any commissions or flashy new works. The repertoire choices hewed closely to the core Austro-German corpus for which they are justly famous, including multiple works they had given in their world premieres.

on March 06, 2023 at 10:28 AM
Coast to coast Coast to coast

Non-observant Jew that I am, my recent immersion into not one by two new plays—Pictures from Home on Broadway, and The Wanderers at the Roundabout—that very much live in that world was something of a double-whammy.

on March 03, 2023 at 9:33 AM
Zero gravitas Zero gravitas

On the train ride home I was thinking that I don’t want to see or hear Norma ever again.

on March 01, 2023 at 11:09 AM
Going ‘South’ Going ‘South’

Cotton, a world-premiere song cycle commissioned by Philadelphia’s Lyric Fest, takes its audience on a journey through Black American history that extends from the Deep South to the contemporary urban landscape.

on February 27, 2023 at 9:15 AM
A whiter shade of grail A whiter shade of grail

It seems that François Girard has been watching a little too much Star Wars lately. His new production of Lohengrin, which opened at the Metropolitan Opera Sunday afternoon, reduced Wagner’s opera to a knockoff space opera, full of hackneyed sci-fi tropes and B-rated futurist apologue.

on February 27, 2023 at 7:55 AM
So a fool returns to his Philly So a fool returns to his Philly

Updating opera settings is, of course, expected; I’d wager in most houses more often than not it’s now the norm. Still, few in my experience have the specificity and local immediacy of Don Pasquale at the Academy of Vocal Arts.

on February 24, 2023 at 9:08 AM
Guys who sing high (and others) Guys who sing high (and others)

A stack of noteworthy recent baroque vocal CDs on my desk has been staring at me for weeks, so I’m tackling them on Handel’s birthday before the Met roars back into action beginning this weekend.

on February 23, 2023 at 9:08 AM
The final strangeness The final strangeness

What’s the status of the American Dream nowadays? Did it ever really exist? If it’s dead, why isn’t it gone?

on February 19, 2023 at 11:23 AM
Special ghost star Special ghost star

Ghost sex is part of the popular zeitgeist.

on February 12, 2023 at 8:00 AM
Seamless Seamless

Baritone Will Liverman is becoming a real Renaissance man. 

on February 08, 2023 at 7:44 PM