Category Archives: Theater

KENNEDY CENTER’S HELLO DOLLY – LOOK AT THE OLD GIRL NOW!

A great performance always seems fresh-minted. That certainly is the case with Ms. Betty Buckley at the Kennedy Center. In fact, her character,  Dolly Gallagher Levi, first appeared during playwright Thornton Wilder’s 1935 trip to Europe. As he considered the comedies of Austria’s popular 19th century playwright Johann Nestroy, he wondered if an American version […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]