Category Archives: from Paul

Paul’s posts.

VIRGINIA OPERA’S DON GIOVANNI: FABULOUS FUN

After surveying the centuries of Don Juan incarnations, David Bentley Hart concludes that the character is simply now “beyond our ken”[i] While that may be true in the world of philosophy, in the nuts and bolts world of theater “ken”, or understanding, is what is demanded by performers and audience alike. So rather than pick […]

THE MET’S LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST- AMERICA’S OPERA WORLD PREMIERE

Heidi Waleson’s new history of the New York City Opera Mad Scenes and Exit Arias makes clear that the Metropolitan Opera was no friend to its Lincoln Center neighbor. The occasion of the Met’s production of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West should remind us that the Met has never welcomed any rival to its place […]

THE MET”S SAMSON AND DALILA: THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMISTICE

One hundred years ago, on November 2, 1918, the Metropolitan Opera opened its season with a Jubilee Victory Celebration of the end of World War One during a performance of Saint-Saens’ Samson and Dalila. Enrico Caruso, a fervent champion of the allied cause, had been  barnstorming the country with Al Jolson, George M Cohan,  and […]

THE VIRGINIA STAGE COMPANY: OUR TOWN AT THE WELLS

Thornton Wilder loved New Hampshire. Thornton Wilder spent parts of the summers of 1924, 1926, 1929, 1932, and 1937 as a resident of the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, the southwestern New Hampshire town known as the “real” Grover’s Corners. As a poet he loved the sounds of the words, the cadences, the tones and hesitations […]

THE FERRYMAN – A MODERN IRISH TRAGEDY

Near the end of Jez Butterworth’s gripping new drama, The Ferryman, Uncle Pat, the aged family repository of education and lore, begins to read, “Here all the crowd streams, hurrying to the shores, women and men, pleading to make the crossing, stretching out their hands in longing for the far shore. But the boatman rows […]