Archive | Concerts

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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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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