Author Archives: Paul Kuritz

HOW THE HELL DID I GET HERE? Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Lesley Nicol AKA Mrs. Patmore

One person plays usually mean an actor portraying a famous person on stage. The most famous one person plays are probably Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain and Julie Harris as Emily Dickinson. Through the work of various  artists, solo performances developed as living artists played themselves on stage. The psychologically intense confessional comedies by Spaulding […]

EUN SUN KIM IGNITES LYRIC’S FIERY TOSCA

Chicagoans love their Toscas. Puccini’s opera has attracted passionate performers and audiences alike since it first arrived in Chicago. The latest incarnation will certainly join the distinguished  ranks of the best Toscas seen in the city. Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca is based on Victorian Sardou’s wildly popular drama La Tosca, made famous by Sarah Bernhardt’s world […]

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA’S RIGOLETTO: MISDIRECTED BEAUTY

Two years after the 1851 premiere of Rigoletto at La Fenice in Venice, Verdi summarized his opera in words which seem to pertain to almost every production of the opera: As far as dramatic effectiveness is concerned, it seems to me that the best material I have yet put to music (I’m not speaking of […]

ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FIVE YEARS AGO TODAY IN CHICAGO: THE GREAT WIN AN OPERA HOUSE LOTTERY!

“As 21 January 1867 dawned, exciting and auspicious events were occurring all across the operatic world. In faraway Paris, Giuseppe Verdi was put­ting the finishing touches on his new opera, Don Carlos, in preparation for its eagerly awaited l’Opera premiere for the Paris Exposition. Jules Massenet was ardently overseeing the final rehearsals for his own […]

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 […]