Category Archives: Uncategorized

MET OPERA’S EUGENE ONEGIN: TCHAIKOVSKY’S MASTERPIECE

Tchaikovsky didn’t care if his new opera was any good. You may well be right in saying that my opera, [Eugene Onegin], will not be effective on the stage…I have no dramatic vein, and now I don’t worry about it…I wrote this opera because I was moved one day with the unutterable force to express […]

CARMEN IN WILLIAMSBURG

Following a decade of teaching Biblical Hebrew to college students, one should welcome retirement as a time to catch one’s breathe and enjoy the easy things of life. Not so for Naama  Zahavi-Ely. Professor Zahavi-Ely decided that her retirement needed her to found a new opera company. At a time when the most established opera […]

FAVORITE LIVE PERFORMANCES 2017-2018

Every year I note the favorite  performances I have seen. Last year I noted productions themselves. This year I note individual acting performances which I found quite wonderful. (In alphabetical order) Bradley Armacost, Hugh, Translations Piotr Beczala, Rodolfo, Luisa Miller Judy Yerby Burke, Linda, Death of a Salesman Joseph Calleja, Pollione, Norma Ryan Clemens, Various, […]

National Theatre Live: The Expressionist Hamlet

Lyndsay Turner’s Hamlet, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, is strikingly different from other recent Hamlets. Rory Kinnear ‘s Hamlet directed by Nicholas Hytner, Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 self-directed Hamlet, and Greg Doran’s 2009 David Tennant Hamlet all evidenced the influence of John Barton’s magisterial elucidation of how Shakespeare’s language needed to be played. Barton insisted on a detailed […]

VIRGINIA OPERA’S DREAM: THE MYSTICISM OF HAPPINESS

The great British essayist G. K. Chesterton considered Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to be a masterful presentation of “the mysticism of happiness.” He went on to explain: “That is to say, it is the conception that when a man lives upon a borderland he may find himself in the spiritual or supernatural atmosphere, not […]