Category Archives: Music

The MET OPERA: CARMEN AS MORALITY PLAY

Each performance  is custom-made. Unlike film, when stage actors meet before a new audience anything is possible. As the playwright Herb Gardner noted, There is a chance each time the curtain goes up of glory and disaster, the actors and the audience will take each other somewhere, neither knows where for sure.[i] And that magical […]

THE MET OPERA’S ADRIANA LECOUVREUR: NETREBKO IS MELPOMENE

At the end of Francesco Cilea’s 1902 opera Adriana Lecouvreuer librettist Arturo Colautti adds a passage not found in the original 1849 play Adrienne Lecouvreur  by Eugene Scribe and Ernest Legouve. As the great actress dies, Colautti presents her as hallucinating: Stand aside, Philistines! I am Melpomene! Behold the Light that leads me on, That […]

ARENA STAGE’S ANYTHING GOES: CLASSIC MUSICAL FUN

In 1934 Anything Goes, the musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter opened in New York City. The original book was a collaborative effort by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse, heavily revised by the team of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.  Their object was maximum fun, and minimum attention to the news of the day. And they succeeded brilliantly. The Times critic wrote that the […]

THE VIRGINIA SYMPHONY AND CHORUS’ MESSIAH RAISES THE ROOF

Maestra JoAnn Falletta led a rousingly spirited rendition of Handel’s magnificent oratorio The Messiah last evening. Keeping the spirit-filled symphony and chorus moving for over two hours, Ms. Falletta gave the orchestra’s string section an opportunity to shine, and shine they did. Their playing did not only sound wonderful, their playing was a lovely visual […]

The Significance of Handel’s Messiah

“George Frideric Handel was the first composer in Western history who never had to be rediscovered, mainly because by the time he died his oratorio MESSIAH had already attained the legendary status it has never lost. Up to Handel’s time music was written for the present and was largely expected to fade away after the […]