NY Public Library Receives Rare Hymnal

On Monday, April 14, 2014, Dr. Jeff Dailey, the executor of Dr. Ronald Cross’ estate, presented the New York Public Library with a copy of Cantiones Ecclesiasticae, fulfilling Cross’ wishes as set forth in his will. This Lutheran hymnal from 1545 was one of Dr. Cross’ prized possessions. He kept this treasure locked up in a strongbox and rarely […]

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At Last–A Glorious Butterfly At The Met

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NY; April 9, 2014—The Met’s remarkably beautiful and touching production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, directed by the late Anthony Minghella and his wife Carolyn Choa on Michael Levine’s evocative, minimalist sets, debuted on opening night, 2006. With its overhead mirror, shiny stage floor, silently moving paper walls, brilliantly colored costumes […]

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Superbly Sung Sonnambula At The Met

Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, NY; March 25, 2014—Opera lovers are fully aware that the plot of Vincenzo Bellini’s La sonnambula is threadbare and silly: When a Swiss village girl (Amina) is found asleep in a stranger’s (Count Rodolfo’s) room at an inn, she gets ensnared in a jealousy triangle (Lisa, the innkeeper, is in love […]

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The Seattle Symphony Launches New Record Label: Seattle Symphony Media

March 19, 2014—The Seattle Symphony and Music Director Ludovic Morlot announce the launch of Seattle Symphony Media, the Symphony’s in-house record label, with its first three recordings scheduled for release in April. The first three releases on the new label feature Ludovic Morlot conducting the Seattle Symphony in works by French and American composers, celebrating […]

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Bryn Terfel, Emma Thompson in Sondheim’s “Sweeney”

Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, NY; March 5, 2014—A limited run (five performances) of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, led by Alan Gilbert with the New York Philharmonic, practically turned out to be the season’s hottest operatic ticket so far. Billed as a staged performance, albeit in Avery Fisher Hall, director Lonny Price, an old hand […]

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Philippe Jaroussky Wins The Battle

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; February 25, 2014—Thirty-six year old, cherubic-looking Philippe Jaroussky is the only countertenor (so far) with superstar status. Unlike most in his voice category he is not an alto, either in texture or range, and while the voice is small (certainly moreso than David Daniels’ or David Hansen’s), it has […]

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Jonas Kaufmann As Werther At The Met

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NY; February 18, 2014— The Met’s new production of Massenet’s weepy Werther is its first in 42 years; the occasion, one must presume, is the availability of tenor Jonas Kaufmann. He is stepping into shoes worn by Franco Corelli, Placido Domingo, Alfredo Kraus, Neil Shicoff, and Roberto Alagna and he […]

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Sarah Joy As Herself–At Le Poisson Rouge

Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St, NY; February 11, 2014–The last time New York heard the lovely soprano Sarah Joy Miller was in the final throes of the lamented New York City Opera: she was singing the title role in its splendid production of Anna Nicole, and she was impressive. The role is very long […]

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Tsujii and Orpheus Crown the “Emperor”

Carnegie Hall, New York, January 25, 2014—All Beethoven program: Coriolan Overture; Symphony No. 2; Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”, Nobuyuki Tsujii, piano; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra—It may sound cynical to say so, but I have no doubt that at least some members of the sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall waiting to see blind pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii […]

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New Voices in Met’s L’elisir

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NY; January 13, 2014—Bartlett Sher’s just-a-season-old production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore is back at the Met, with its handsome if predictable, flat, painted sets by Michael Yeargan and mostly-lovely costumes by Catherine Zuber. Sher said last season that he was setting the opera in Italy (and not “the Basque country”) […]

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