Category Archives: History

Riccardo Muti is Saving Opera: Un Ballo in Maschera

The dean of opera critics has stated the problem best: “I have said that in today’s  operatic world too much territory is ceded to the realm of the eye; that even within this realm too much attention is  paid to physical production and not enough to performance and that auteuristic privileges  claimed by directors and […]

THE CHINESE LADY: HOW NOT TO TREAT A STRANGER

In their study of human behavior, ethologists have concluded certain facts about our species. One is curiosity. “In man, curiosity remains a prominent art pf behavior throughout life/ thus we can properly be called creatures of curiosity, and our curiosity maybe interpreted as a persistent juvenile characteristic. Indeed, we seek novelty even into our old […]

SINGING SAVES STONE’S CAMPY LUCIA AT THE MET

  In 1964 the literary critic Susan Sontag published the definitive work “On Camp”’ in which she defined the genre as loving “the unnatural, the artificial, the exaggerated.” In art, Camp’s exaggeration proceeds from both passion and naiveté, both of which opera director Simon Stone employed in his production of Lucia di Lammermoor at the […]

STEPPENWOLF’S SEAGULL SOARS IN NEW TRANSLATION, NEW THEATRE

The almost half century old Steppenwolf Theatre opened its new 600 seat Ensemble Theater with a beautiful new translation of Anton Chekhov’s historic play, directed by the translator  Yasen Peyankov. The Seagull, directed by Konstantin Stanislavski for the new Moscow Art Theater, established the Russian theater as one of the finest in the world, and […]

IRISH THEATRE OF CHICAGO: MOLLY SWEENEY – HAVING EYES BUT NOT SEEING

Molly Sweeney (1994), presented by the Irish Theatre of Chicago at the Chopin Theatre, is the second of two plays (the other is The Faith Healer (1979),  in which the great Irish playwright Brian Friel (1929-2015) explores the subjects of religion and science, faith and disappointment, and seeing and understanding. Healing is the topic of […]