Archive | Concerts

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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Pärt’s “Passio” At St. Bart’s: Glorious Stasis

St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, Park Avenue, NY, April 4, 2017—Listening to Arvo Pärt’s Passio one wonders how a piece of music that is almost self-consciously undramatic moves people so thoroughly. The 70-minute work, all of a piece (without “numbers” or places to pause), composed in 1989, is scored for four soloists (SATB) who act together […]

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Estonian Choir in Church with Arvo Pärt

Church of St Ignatius Loyola, New York, NY; February 1, 2017—Presented by the organization Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, the concert on February 1st was in the exquisite German Baroque Revival Church of St Ignatius Loyola on 84th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan; surroundings and music were perfectly wed. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber […]

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Riccardo Muti Returns to La Scala

La Scala, Milan, January 21, 2017—Riccardo Muti’s return to La Scala has been a long time coming. The opera house and its former music director parted on painful terms back in 2005. Thereafter he had conducted here only once: with the Vienna Philharmonic that same year. On this occasion the public turned up in droves […]

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