Cher Public

Christmas past imperfect

The Christmas truce in 1914, an impromptu and unofficial laying down of arms in favor of camaraderie between soldiers on both sides (or several sides) of the Great War, was an actual event or series of small events, but it is also a myth, real events given magnitude and coherence by repetition and artistic gloss.  Read more »

Home run

Rosina’s Turn

WNO’s season has been uneven at best with some outstanding performances in memory (Proving Up, Eric Owens and Melody Moore in Don Carlo, Tamara Wilson in Aïda) and others that fell flat. I expected the valedictory production of the 2017-18 season, The Barber of Seville, to be reflective of that unevenness, but it instead turned out to be the most overall solid production of the year and even a bit of old-fashioned fun.  Read more »

Give ’em Hellman

As musical theatre and opera companies around the country race to celebrate the Leonard Bernstein centennial, the ubiquity of Candidefeels practically unavoidable. And at Washington National Opera, Francesca Zambello’s main gig when she’s not directing internationally or summering up in Cooperstown, Candide’s ubiquity feels wholly inevitable.  Read more »

Family values

A regular day in 2018 Washington, D.C., or Verdi’s Don Carlo?

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Little house on the scary

Out of a literal perforation in the horizon of the Nebraskan prairie emerges Proving Up, the most convincing case I have ever seen for modern American opera.

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Tales of the Bavarian baloney pony

In November, everyone wanted to hear more about Jonas Kaufmann‘s Johnson.

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Girl power

Washington National Opera’s lukewarm Alcina, unthreateningly misguided in both its musical and theatrical values, made little impact.

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I see flags, I hear bells, There's a parade in Memphis. Photo: Scott Suchman

Celeste graffiti

Aida certainly has its longueurs.

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