Author Archives: Paul Kuritz

LYRIC OPERA’S MAGIC FLUTE: SAD AND SOULLESS

Chicago’s first Magic Flute played on Tuesday evening, January 17, 1865. Carl Anschutz (1813-1870) conducted. In January 1864 Leonard Grover (1833-1926) brought to Chicago the first real German opera troupe for fifteen performances at the recently remodeled  McVicker’s Theater at Madison and Dearborn,  among them Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The city’s German population was very […]

BOB DYLAN CONCERT: A “GHOSTLY APPEARANCE”

Since  it opened its doors in 1889 Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre has heard the world’s  great voices, in words, in music, and in both. On Wednesday, the eighty year old  Nobel Prize-winning Bob Dylan offered an inspired  concert which placed him in that pantheon of voices. Dylan opened the concert with 1971’s “Watching the River Flow”, […]

CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE’S AS YOU LIKE IT: NON-STOP JOY

In the early 1970s countless undergraduate and graduate stage directing students had the “happy idea” of setting Shakespeare’s As You Like It in a then new and en vogue  Back-to-Nature commune,  populated mostly by trust fund baby revolutionaries fleeing Richard Nixon’s America. Arden was a Vermont ashram, the center of the American counterculture, home to […]

MODEST MUSSORGSKY HAS HIS DAY: BORIS GODUNOV DONE HIS WAY

Exactly one hundred and fifty years since Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov was rejected for performance by Russia’s Mariinsky Theatre his version of his opera is staged and transmitted live to hundreds of thousands of spectators around the world. Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) came from a more or less peasant family in Russia. That fact, plus his […]

Take Some ELIXIR OF LOVE For The Covid Blues

An aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic is that many people can’t seem to shake a feeling of anxiety,  worry, even fear. Theater and music, at their best, have risen to such occasions, to proclaim the opposite message: Life is a joyous gift from God. Don’t be afraid. What good is sitting alone in your room…. […]