Category Archives: Mini-Review


The publicity for the Richmond Ballet’s Nutcracker quotes the New York Times: “one of the country’s most perfect”. I haven’t seen enough Nutcrackers to weigh in with any comparison, but I can safely say that Stoner Winslett and Charles Caldwell’s version accomplishes the seemingly impossible. Their Nutcracker looks very traditional, while simultaneously being thrillingly imaginative. […]


The Virginia Symphony presented THE BEST OF WAGNER’S RING CYCLE, conducted by JoAnn Falletta, narrated by bass-baritone Jake Gardner. ” Entry of the Gods into Valhalla” from Das Rheingold, “Ride of the Valkyries” and “Wotan’s farewell & Magic Fire Music” from Die Walkure, “Forest Murmurs’ from Siegfried, and “Siegfried’s Rhine Journey” and “Siegfried’s Death and […]

Gran Teatre del Liceu: A Stark Rigoletto

The Rigoletto at Barcelona’s elegant Gran Teatre del Liceu reminded me again that Verdi can be considered the Shakespeare of opera. Not only did he compose a Macbeth, Othello, and Falstaff, but his great fondness for King Lear was spread among several operas. The king driven mad by his evil daughter centers Nabucco, while Rigoletto […]

Kenneth Branaugh and Rob Ashford’s THE WINTER’S TALE arrives

The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare, the first offering of Kenneth Branaugh’s Plays at the Garrick, arrived on American movie screens last evening. After an interminable unedited film of the Garrick audience doing nothing but sitting, the production began, the American audience not as well-disposed as it had been forty minutes earlier when the unedited […]

Dunsinane: Our World, Unfortunately

David Grieg’s exciting new play Dunsinane, an imaginative follow up to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, illustrates profoundly the difference between Shakespeare’s world and our own. Shakespeare’s characters lived as part of the Great Chain of Being – a cosmos vertically connecting each lowly jot and tittle of the earth in a direct line, through human beings, to God. In […]