Category Archives: Books

VIRGINIA OPERA’S MADAMA BUTTERFLY WORKS PUCCINI MAGIC

Madama Butterfly, the lovely opera presented by the Virginia Opera,  began as a stage hit, but took a rollercoaster ride to its pre-eminence as a world-favorite opera. The crowd-pleasing Virginia Opera production of Madama Butterfly carried traces of the opera’s long and unpredictable historic journey to Norfolk’s Harrison Opera House. As near perfection as anything […]

REGENT’S DEAR BRUTUS: J.M. BARRIE’S MIDDLE-AGE MEDITATION

If you could live your life over again, would you do it the same way? This question has probably crossed everyone’s mind at one time or another. The Christian Church proclaims that one has many chances through repentance to enter the process of theosis. It certainly crossed the mind of Peter Pan’s author, the Scotsman […]

The MET OPERA: CARMEN AS MORALITY PLAY

Each performance  is custom-made. Unlike film, when stage actors meet before a new audience anything is possible. As the playwright Herb Gardner noted, There is a chance each time the curtain goes up of glory and disaster, the actors and the audience will take each other somewhere, neither knows where for sure.[i] And that magical […]

THE MET’S NEW LA TRAVIATA: A PINK CAMELLIA

In Alexander Dumas’La Dame aux Camellias /The Lady of the Camellia (1848) the heroine, a prostitute named Marguerite, signals her availability for business by displaying one of two camellias – the red camellia means she is unavailable, the white camellia means Marguerite will see gentlemen callers. A giant pink camellia dominates both the opening and closing of […]

THE LONDON PALLADIUM KING AND I: NOT GOOD

The King and I gets  its power from the fact that, at its core, the story is a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast tale. The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of the musical made that crystal clear when it cast a nice guy where the beast should have been. The tension and suspense […]