Category Archives: Music

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 […]

THE MET”S SAMSON AND DALILA: THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMISTICE

One hundred years ago, on November 2, 1918, the Metropolitan Opera opened its season with a Jubilee Victory Celebration of the end of World War One during a performance of Saint-Saens’ Samson and Dalila. Enrico Caruso, a fervent champion of the allied cause, had been  barnstorming the country with Al Jolson, George M Cohan,  and […]

GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY – A THIN PLACE FOLK OPERA

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan asked Conor McPherson, the world’s greatest English-language playwright, if he would be interested in using his songs in a theater piece. The result is the magnificent folk-opera Girl from the North Country. Critics of the work ignore the key to understanding the work’s deep center: Conor McPherson was most interested […]

THE GRANDEST OF GRAND OPERAS, THE GRANDEST OF AIDAS

Anna Netrebko. You can admire her through the Met HD LIVE broadcasts, but to really appreciate her power one must see her perform live on stage. At New York’s Lincoln Center, we caught her final rendition of the princess Aida in the Metropolitan Opera’s current production of the Verdi classic. Nothing speaks to the culture […]

VIRGINIA OPERA’S STREET SCENE – A TRIUMPH

      Last week Terry Teachout, the wisest theater critic in America, noted the significance of regional opera companies in both maintaining a high standard of excellence and simultaneously attracting an audience. “It is not that grand opera is incapable of appealing to American theatergoers. Even now, there are many Americans who love it […]