Category Archives: Men and Women

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 […]

VA SYMPHONY HAS THEM DANCING IN THE STREETS

   On an October evening, fifty-two years, ago a seventeen year old boy wandered into UVa’s Memorial Gymnasium in Charlottesville to hear his first pop concert,  performed by a group called Matha and The Vandellas. Ever since that night, Motown has been my pop music of choice, with some space reserved  for the eternal Bob […]

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 […]