Cher Public

Domino theory

The Metropolitan Opera delivers on the promise of Wagner’s Gesamtkunswerk in a revival of Robert Lepage’s Ring.  The first installment, Das Rheingold, initiates one into ancient mythology and the composer’s harmonic landscape with conservative elegance.  Read more »

Cryptic

On paper, the prospect of hearing Kindertotenlieder in a crypt is a macabre one: Rückert’s poems alone are a harrowing read, a cry of anguish over the premature deaths of the poet’s two children, and Mahler matches the torment of the text with some of his most gut-wrenching, and indeed, most beautiful music.  Read more »

That’s how they’ve done it

Così fan tutte, Mozart’s final Italian comedy with Lorenzo Da Ponte, is this season’s heaviest lift for Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA). Hell, it’s a heavy lift for any opera company, clocking in at three-plus hours, with formidable vocal and theatrical challenges for six principals.  Read more »

Take the long way Rome

Russell Thomas’s opening aria, “Del piu sublime soglio” displayed an intense attention to the text and some surprisingly beautiful piano phrasing that I’ve never heard risked before and it brought wonder and gooseflesh.

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The old song and dance

The most disappointing performance in 30 otherwise glorious years of William Christie and Les Arts Florissants visiting New York City.

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Cri du coeur

Sondra Radvanovsky returned for her 29th Met Aïda Thursday night (but only her second Aïda.)

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Alpha doge

West Bay Opera’s sterling production of Verdi’s I due Foscari played over the last two weekends.

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Disappearing act

Tenor Matthew Polenzani and pianist Julius Drake’s performance left this listener in a a state of euphoria.

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