Archive | Concerts

A Shining, Brilliant Star Joins the Cast of Lucia at the Met

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NY. April 11, 2018–After a run of five performances of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in which tenor Vittorio Grigolo far outshone the evening’s Lucia–the puzzlingly bad Olga Peretyatko–April 11th brought a welcome role debut at the Met in the person of Jessica Pratt. The 39-year-old British/Australian soprano has been lauded […]

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Stylized Look, Virtuoso Singing in Met’s Semiramide

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NY; March 6, 2018—Rossini’s Semiramide, all four hours of it, is more a pageant and showcase than it is a dramatic whole. It’s not easy to engage an audience in the politics of ancient Babylon, so, as was his wont, Rossini keeps us riveted by showing us what singers are […]

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The Orchestra Now and JoAnn Falletta: Youth and Agility

Thursday, December 14, 2017: Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, New York The Orchestra Now is another initiative of the indefatigable Leon Botstein, and part of the graduate program in performance at Bard College. Members of the group introduce the music being played, and appear in the lobby at intermission to mingle with concert attendees. It’s […]

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Philly, Hahn and Nézet-Séguin Rock Adès, Bernstein and Sibelius

December 8, 2017: Carnegie Hall, New York Hot off of a successful international tour with his Montreal Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin cruised into Carnegie Hall last night with (one of) his other principal orchestras, and demonstrated why he’s currently such a choice commodity in today’s world of classical music. It would be hard […]

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A Good Case For Cilea From Vienna

Vienna Staatsoper, November 18, 2017—In Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, a leading actress at the Comédie-Française (based on the real life Adrienne Lecouvreur) is poisoned by her rival for the heart of a count. The story may look titillating, but librettist Arturo Colautti’s version is convoluted, and the score can sound maudlin compared with grittier verismo works. […]

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Filarmonica della Scala On Top Form In Mahler 2

La Scala, Milan; October 16, 2017–These are exciting times for the Filarmonica della Scala. Founded by Claudio Abbado to provide La Scala’s regular players with an opportunity to play symphonic repertoire, the orchestra has been getting better and better since Riccardo Chailly became music director two years ago. A recently-concluded tour over the summer, which […]

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Angel Blue, The Met’s New Mimi

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NY, October 2, 2017–Franco Zeffirelli’s 36-year-old staging of La bohème at the Met is getting another workout this season, and the first performance brought three debuts. Primary was conductor Alexander Soddy, a 37-year-old Brit who is music director of Mannheim’s National Theatre, where his polyglot taste has taken him from […]

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Glimmerglass’ Porgy A Perfect Grand Opera Version

Glimmerglass Festival, Alice Busch Theater, Cooperstown, NY; August 13, 2017—Deep in operatic lore is the story of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. The work is through-composed and huge in scale, and Gershwin opted to have it performed in a Broadway theater despite interest at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. His thinking was that not only could […]

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La Scala Shows There’s Still More Mileage In Zeffirelli’s Bohème

La Scala, Milan, June 7, 2017—Zeffirelli’s superannuated production of La bohème returned to La Scala–yet again. From the naive slapstick to the bonnets-and-cravats period tack, this is aged opera at its tritest–a production one imagines must have felt a little fresher when it opened at this house more than half-a-century ago. But Zeffirelli’s conception is […]

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New York City Opera’s June Offering–Eötvös/Kushner’s “Angels”

The Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York, NY, June 12, 2017—Tony Kushner’s breathtaking play Angels in America was so operatic in itself, with its concentration on character, pinpointed and deeply felt emotions, and huge metaphors that someone had to turn it into an opera. Premiered in Paris in 2004 and since presented in […]

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