Category Archives: History

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 VIRGINIA SYMPHONY AND CHORUS’ MESSIAH RAISES THE ROOF

Maestra JoAnn Falletta led a rousingly spirited rendition of Handel’s magnificent oratorio The Messiah last evening. Keeping the spirit-filled symphony and chorus moving for over two hours, Ms. Falletta gave the orchestra’s string section an opportunity to shine, and shine they did. Their playing did not only sound wonderful, their playing was a lovely visual […]

The Significance of Handel’s Messiah

“George Frideric Handel was the first composer in Western history who never had to be rediscovered, mainly because by the time he died his oratorio MESSIAH had already attained the legendary status it has never lost. Up to Handel’s time music was written for the present and was largely expected to fade away after the […]

THE NT LIVE’S ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA : WHEN ONE CHOOSES LOVE

In Western Civilization’s foundational myth, the great Trojan warrior Aeneas chooses duty over love when he leaves the exotic Dido in Carthage to do his duty, to found Rome. William Shakespeare considers what might have happened had Aeneas remained with Dido in the form of his towering Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra (1606). First of all, […]

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 […]