Category Archives: Dance

GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY – A THIN PLACE FOLK OPERA

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan asked Conor McPherson, the world’s greatest English-language playwright, if he would be interested in using his songs in a theater piece. The result is the magnificent folk-opera Girl from the North Country. Critics of the work ignore the key to understanding the work’s deep center: Conor McPherson was most interested […]

VIRGINIA OPERA’S STREET SCENE – A TRIUMPH

      Last week Terry Teachout, the wisest theater critic in America, noted the significance of regional opera companies in both maintaining a high standard of excellence and simultaneously attracting an audience. “It is not that grand opera is incapable of appealing to American theatergoers. Even now, there are many Americans who love it […]

THE MET’S MADAMA BUTTERFLY: THE POWER OF UNIVERSALS

The most recent study names Puccini’s Madama Butterfly as the sixth most popular opera in the world. In fact, seeing the opera at the age of sixteen prompted Yoko Watanabe (1953-2004) to a singing career, eventually to the position of the most famous of Japanese opera singers, certainly to be one of the most acclaimed […]

AMERICAN BLUES THEATER: BUDDY HOLLY LIVES

Buddy Holly was my favorite rock and roller and first hero. As an eight year old boy with a single bud headphone from his transistor radio I waited for Buddy’s music to come on after I went to bed. We shared a common trait  – glasses. In the days before contact lenses, we “four-eyes” were […]

RICHMOND BALLET’S NUTCRACKER: MAKING TRADITION EXCITING

The publicity for the Richmond Ballet’s Nutcracker quotes the New York Times: “one of the country’s most perfect”. I haven’t seen enough Nutcrackers to weigh in with any comparison, but I can safely say that Stoner Winslett and Charles Caldwell’s version accomplishes the seemingly impossible. Their Nutcracker looks very traditional, while simultaneously being thrillingly imaginative. […]