Category Archives: World Affairs

LYRIC OPERA’S NABUCCO ROCKS THE HOUSE

Prayer was certainly a large part of the young composer’s life in 1841. The twenty-eight-year old’s wife and two children had suddenly died, his own health was precarious, and his most recent opera had been a dismal failure. Out of this plagued life came his first triumph, Nabucco, the tale of the people of God,  […]

Lyric Opera’s Bel Canto: The Music, The Music, The Music

“It has a tremendous variety of expression, of musical ideas. It has a virtuoso quality to it. It has very driven and barbaric moments about it, very lyrical moments, very sensual moments. It has chamber music in the midst of all this bombastic stuff. It’s incredibly exciting.” The words of Leonard Bernstein’s former pupil Yakov […]

GENEVA: BEGONIA BROWN GOES TO PARLIAMENT

Despite being one of his most daring and prescient works, of all Bernard Shaw’s plays, Geneva is the most disparaged. The criticism moved Shaw to join those who hate the play. By 1938 he had remarked: “What a horrible play! Why had I to write it?” Two events seem to have conspired to bring about […]

ASSASSINATION THEATER: The Most Important and Exciting Theater You Will See

The first great work of theater, Oedipus Rex, is a whodunit. Ever since, solving mysteries seems part and parcel of what audiences expect of the theatrical experience. I was a high school student beginning a lifelong study of theater when the shots rang out in Dallas. Being sent home from school due to an assassination […]

AMERICAN SNIPER: The Sheepdog

The great films of Clint Eastwood have a fascination with the nature of male friendship. From Unforgiven through Invictus, Gran Torino, Letters from Iwo Jima, Flags of Our Fathers, Mystic River, and even Jersey Boys, the director has explored philia (brotherly love) with a depth and understanding rare in any other director. At times Eastwood’s […]