Category Archives: Uncategorized

THE MET’S DIE WALKURE: A SUBLIME RETURN TO THE HEART OF THE FIRST RING

With an opera production as overwhelming as Robert Lepage’s Die Walkure at the Metropolitan Opera, adjectives seem unable to capture the majesty and profundity of the experience. “Spectacular”? “Magnificent”? “Sublime”? All of those and more. And in the most difficult of all art forms. Opera has so many variables subject to personal disposition, physical strength, […]

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 […]

THE NT LIVE’S ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA : WHEN ONE CHOOSES LOVE

In Western Civilization’s foundational myth, the great Trojan warrior Aeneas chooses duty over love when he leaves the exotic Dido in Carthage to do his duty, to found Rome. William Shakespeare considers what might have happened had Aeneas remained with Dido in the form of his towering Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra (1606). First of all, […]

VA SYMPHONY HAS THEM DANCING IN THE STREETS

   On an October evening, fifty-two years, ago a seventeen year old boy wandered into UVa’s Memorial Gymnasium in Charlottesville to hear his first pop concert,  performed by a group called Matha and The Vandellas. Ever since that night, Motown has been my pop music of choice, with some space reserved  for the eternal Bob […]