Category Archives: Theater

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 […]

LYRIC OPERA CHICAGO : THE OLD BARBER HAS STILL GOT IT

The history of what is popularly called Italian opera began in the United States with a performance of Rossini’s lyrical comedy “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”, The Barber of Seville. The place was the Park Theatre, then situated in Chambers Street, east of Broadway, and the date November 29, 1825.[i] It was Manuel Garcia’s troupe that […]

THE MET’S MANON: THE “ETERNAL WOMAN” RETURNS

Jules Massenet (1842-1912) premiered  his new opera,  Manon,  on 19 January 1884 at Paris’ Opera Comique, the home to the city’s middle-class audience, an audience accustomed to the spoken dialogue featured in Massenet’s work. It was a hit. “Those who do not object on principle to being entertained in the opera house, rather than hectored, […]

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 […]

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 […]