Category Archives: The Gospel of the Kingdom

IN THE SEASON OF PARSIFAL

The coincidence of a world-wide pandemic and the liturgical season of Lent may prompt some people, stuck at home, to consider Richard Wagner’s masterpiece, PARSIFAL. Set in a mythological world in which the land is suffering because the king is dying, a young Holy Fool, so naive that he doesn’t even know his name, arrives […]

THE MET’S PORGY AND BESS: It’s Got Plenty of Vigor and Talent

The distinguished opera historian and critic Charles Osborne considers George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess to be “the most successful American contribution to twentieth century opera.”[i] Like all works for the stage, the final product is the result of a collaboration among many creative artists working to transform the play Porgy into a musical work. The […]

THE MET’S AKHNATEN: A HYMN TO THE TRUE LIGHT

When Philip Glass’ Akhnaten first appeared in 1984, the New York Daily News was moved to label Mr. Glass “the Ronald Reagan of composers. This time around,  no one is thinking of Ronald Reagan after experiencing the Glass/Kamensek/McDermott/Pollard/Pay  production at the Metropolitan Opera. Instead, the words ”breathtaking”, “hypnotic”, “gorgeous”, “luscious”, “overwhelming”, and “beautiful,” are most […]

THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS: LEWIS UNDONE

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the […]

THE MET OPERA’S DIALOGUES DES CARMELITES : OPERA’S DIVINE LADDER OF ASCENT

 Sixteen days after John Dexter’s  1977 production of  Dialogues des Carmélites (Dialogues of the Carmelites)    opened at the Metropolitan Opera a detonated tear gas canister in the lobby forced the 4,000 members of the audience to evacuate the building. Suddenly fear was not just a theme in Mr. Poulenc’s great opera about the human struggle with […]