Category Archives: Men and Women

STC’s ORESTEIA: 5% AESCHYLUS (95% MCLAUGHLIN)

Aeschylus’ trilogy The Oresteia stands as one of the pillar’s of Western Civilization. The three plays together mark society’s turn from a collection of families and clans whose personal interests dominate to the polis, the city, for which justice must mean more than individual retribution. In the process, the gods lead the way; humans are […]

VA ARTS FESTIVAL’S ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA: HAIL, FLORENT SCHMITT! HAIL, JOANN FALLETTA!

Florent Schmitt? The name would give even the most learned musicologist pause to retrieve the name from the dustbin of musical history. Enter JoAnn Falletta. Virginia’s beloved maestra is as devoted to recovering forgotten masterpieces as she is to the presentation of new works. So, it should come as no surprise that Florent Schmitt should […]

OPERA IN WILLIAMSBURG’S DIE ZAUBERFLOTE: MUSICAL MAGIC

Bernard Shaw considered Mozart’s ZAUBERFLOTE, The Magic Flute, to be “the first oratorio of the religion of humanity.” On the other hand, opera historian Gustav Kobbe considers the libretto to the Magic Flute “such a jumble of nonsense that it is as well to endeavor to extract some sense from it.”[i] Nothing perplexes viewers as […]

THE MET’S DIE WALKURE: A SUBLIME RETURN TO THE HEART OF THE FIRST RING

With an opera production as overwhelming as Robert Lepage’s Die Walkure at the Metropolitan Opera, adjectives seem unable to capture the majesty and profundity of the experience. “Spectacular”? “Magnificent”? “Sublime”? All of those and more. And in the most difficult of all art forms. Opera has so many variables subject to personal disposition, physical strength, […]

THE MET’S LA FILLE DU REGIMENT: ALMOST PERFECT

With seven operas by the young upstart  Italian  composer opening within a year, the French composers of Paris had had enough. Speaking for his aggrieved colleagues, Hector Berlioz wrote, Mr. Donizetti seems to treat us like a conquered country; it is a veritable invasion n. One can no longer speak of the opera houses of […]