Archive | Concerts

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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Salonen Conducts the MET Orchestra in Mahler, Off and On

Wednesday, May 31, 2017: Carnegie Hall The MET Orchestra Esa-Pekka Salonen, Conductor; Susan Graham, Mezzo-Soprano; Matthew Polenzani, Tenor All-Mahler Program: Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn; Symphony No. 1 Esa-Pekka Salonen hasn’t got a shred of authentic Mahlerian schmaltz in him. The results, in the opening selection of ten songs from the folk poetry anthology Des Knaben Wunderhorn, were just strange. […]

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400-Plus Years Of A Cappella With New York Polyphony

Le Poisson Rouge, 156 Bleecker Street, NYC; April 11, 2017—There were two remarkable things about the recent show at Le Poisson Rouge, the nightclub/music venue in New York’s Greenwich Village. Most important, of course, was the four-man group known as New York Polyphony–and I’ll get to them in a moment. But the event also heralded […]

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The 2017 American Pianists Awards Gala Finals

Hilbert Circle Theater, Indianapolis, IN; April 7 & 8, 2017—The 2017 American Pianists Awards Gala Finals took place over two evenings, where each of the five finalists performed a concerto with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra led by Gerard Schwarz, and aired via live webcasts hosted by soprano Sylvia McNair and pianist Eric Zuber, a 2013 […]

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American Pianists Awards Discovery Week

Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, Indianapolis, IN; April 6, 2017; Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, IN; April 7, 2017—The American Pianists Association’s Discovery Week marks the culmination of a seven-month period during which five selected finalists participated in concerts and community outreach events. The finalists have convened this week for the competition’s home stretch, […]

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Hibla Gerzmava Rescues La Scala’s Problematic Anna Bolena

La Scala, Milan, March 31, 2017—Donizetti’s Anna Bolena has had a tumultuous history at La Scala. Triumphs include Maria Callas’ legendary live-recorded 1957 performance—an abiding benchmark interpretation. Scandals include Montserrat Caballé’s late-cancellation in 1982, when, for the first and only time at La Scala, an irate audience prevented the performance from going ahead. It’s therefore […]

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