Around the U.S.

Postmodern Alcina In Baroque Style – And Gender Melee

Share
By Rodney Punt

SANTA FE, N.M. – While David Alden’s setting of Handel’s opera in a tawdry movie theater was fraught with gender ambiguities, conductor Harry Bicket kept the music smartly attuned to the period at the Santa Fe Opera.

Flourish Of Music Writ Small, Under Banner Of Variety

Share
By Lawrence B. Johnson

SANTA FE, N.M. – The wizardly guitarist Łukasz Kuropaczewski offered solo works, and a star ensemble played a Mozart string quintet, exemplifying the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival’s penchant for marvelous mixes.

To Mark A War’s End, A Devout Vision Of Peace

Share
By Kyle MacMillan

CHICAGO – Carlos Kalmar led the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus in their first traversal of Frank Martin’s oratorio In terra pax, written to mark the end of World War II. The outdoor setting wasn’t kind to the composer’s lean textures.

Subotnick’s Apples In Golden Harvest; Rheingolds Duel

Share
By John Rockwell

NEW YORK – While Morton Subotnick tooled through Silver Apples of the Moon in a 50th anniversary airing at Lincoln Center, concert versions of Wagner’s Das Rheingold competed on stages in New York and Tanglewood.

Desert Chorale Sparkles In Trek Back Across Time

Share
By John W. Lambert

SANTA FE, N.M. – Festivals in New Mexico’s capital include, along with opera and chamber music, the gathering of singers from near and far who make up the Desert Chorale. Its 2017 summer began a cappella in a tiny chapel near Museum Hill.

Steve Jobs Opera Scores Smash Hit For Mason Bates

Share
By Donald Rosenberg

SANTA FE, N.M. – Few first operas achieve the instant success of composer Bates and librettist Mark Campbell’s The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, a work of relentless appeal and creativity that premiered July 22 at the Santa Fe Opera.

Rimsky’s Cockerel Feathers The Cap Of Santa Fe Opera

Share
By Johanna Keller

SANTA FE, N.M. – There is no escaping the topicality and pointed political message of the company’s premiere production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s last opera, The Golden Cockerel, which is undergoing a major revival.

Rising Star Cooke To Complete Bates Double With Jobs

Share
By Barbara Jepson

INTERVIEW – With the premiere of a Mason Bates song cycle behind her, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke looks forward to creating the key role of Steve Jobs’ wife in Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at the Santa Fe Opera.

Stylistic Tangling At Tanglewood In Concerto Premiere

Share
By Keith Powers

LENOX, Mass. – In Vijay Iyer’s Trouble, performed by Jennifer Koh with The Knights orchestra, pastoral melodies are overrun by extended techniques that take the work into funk, jazz, or invitingly minimalist textures.

Potent Il Pirata Closes Bel Canto Era At Caramoor

Share
By James L. Paulk

KATONAH, N.Y. – In the final opera of Will Crutchfield’s twenty-year bel canto venture at the Caramoor Center, soprano Angela Meade gave a stunning performance as the romantically conflicted Imogene in Bellini’s rarity.

Coming Events: Western Festivals Light Up The Sky

Share
By Kyle MacMillan

DATE BOOK – The hotter months invite you to plug into a new opera about Steve Jobs, enjoy outdoor concerts at ski-country heights, and cruise the Colorado River with concerts at bankside. Here’s a look at mountain area highlights.

Cincinnati Opera Paints Frida In Vibrant Colors

Share
By Janelle Gelfand

CINCINNATI – Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s 1991 opera offers an unflinching view of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s torments and passions. The piece alternates in the summer festival with works by Puccini, Mozart, and Missy Mazzoli.

Requiem Of Fright Resolved Into Joy By Seattle Forces

Share
By Jason Victor Serinus

SEATTLE  – Closing the Symphony’s season, music director Ludovic Morlot paired Ligeti’s Requiem and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, turning T.S. Eliot’s quote that the world ends “not with a bang but a whimper” on its head.

Glass’ The Trial Sweeps Kafka Into A Slapstick World

Share
By Chuck Lavazzi

ST. LOUIS – Despite an appealingly quirky score, the opera by Philip Glass and librettist Christopher Hampton felt like a bloodless intellectual exercise; pervasive cartoonish mugging at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis didn’t help.

Peasant Woman’s Courage Inspires Hypnotic Opera

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – LA Opera Off Grand performed Kamala Sankaram’s Thumbprint, about a young gang-rape victim who summons the strength to report the crime, in the presence of the work’s subject, Pakistani activist Mukhtar Mai.

New Opera Award Goes To Mazzoli, Vavrek For Waves

Share
By John Fleming

Breaking the Waves, with music by Missy Mazzoli (right) and libretto by Royce Vavrek, is the first winner of the Music Critics Association of North America’s Best New Opera Award. The presentation will be made July 19 in Santa Fe.

Campra’s Carnaval Is A Musical Circus On Teeming Stage

Share
By Keith Powers

BOSTON  – Adding to its chain of splendid opera productions, the Boston Early Music Festival offered a stylish account of André Campra’s Le Carnaval de Venise, a tale of love and murderous revenge from the age of Louis XIV.

Texas Bach Fest Sees Energy Surge With New Director

Share
By Mike Greenberg

VICTORIA, Tex. – Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, the new artistic director of the Victoria Bach Festival, signaled Baroque mastery plus an intent to up the festival’s game in modern repertoire and music of Hispanic heritage.

Ojai’s Adventures In Stylistic Fusion Confound The Ear

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

OJAI, Calif. – In a festival known for stretching, musicians led by composer-pianist Vijay Iyer went about as far as you can go with improvisations that raised the question, what is the line between music and noise?

3 Cliburn Winners Showed More Than Flashy Technique

Share
By Kyle MacMillan

FORT WORTH, Tex. – The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition winnowed 30 contestants to three winners, including gold medalist Yekwon Sunwoo, who played Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto in the final round.