Around the U.S.

Magic Flute Zips, But Also Overruns Spirit Of Mozart

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By Jason Victor Serinus

SEATTLE – A cast of young singers had shining moments in Seattle Opera’s production of Mozart’s beloved work, but brisk tempos and directorial choices created problems that compromised the music in style and essence alike.

Power Of Berlioz Requiem Endures In Dutoit’s Hands

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By Rodney Punt

SAN FRANCISCO – Because the Berlioz Requiem is what we would today call a “site-specific” work, it requires modification in scale for modern halls. Charles Dutoit led a reduced version for 330 musicians, still a mighty force.

Mist, Mystery And Magic In Colorful, Soft-Edged Pelléas

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By Daniel Hathaway

CLEVELAND – In the latest of the Cleveland Orchestra’s annual opera performances, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande is given a strange and wonderful staging that features actors and dancers as “mythological doppelgängers.”

Ear Snared Twice Amid Sonic Lures At Hear Now Fest

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By Richard S. Ginell

PASADENA – At the opening of the seventh Hear Now Music Festival, two compositions caught the imagination as well thought-out works with something pertinent to say, a sense of drama, and an idea of where they were going.

Old Is Newly Apt In Rameau’s Temple of Glory

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By Janos Gereben

BERKELEY, Calif. – The first modern revival of the song-and-dance spectacle, with a politically charged libretto by Voltaire, capped a nearly quarter-century quest by the Philharmonia Baroque’s Nicholas McGegan.

Shower Of Roses For Nézet-Séguin’s Dutchman At Met

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By Susan Brodie

NEW YORK – In his first Metropolitan Opera production since being named music director designate, Yannick Nézet-Séguin led a triumphant performance of Der fliegende Holländer, with Michael Volle in the title role.

Mannes Celebrates Training Musicians Through A Century

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By Anne E. Johnson

NEW YORK – With a centenary concert at Carnegie Hall on April 25, the Mannes School of Music will honor its bountiful history and its founders, David Mannes and Clara Damrosch Mannes. The school’s lineage and its vision will resound.

Poignancy In Tune As Fleming Closes A Marschallin Era

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By James L. Paulk

NEW YORK – In Robert Carsen’s new production of Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera, soprano Renée Fleming takes her final turns in a role she has virtually owned for two decades, and shows why.

This Orchestra’s Tradition Is To Buck Tradition

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By Kyle MacMillan

LOUISVILLE, KY. – Striving for a place among the world’s most interesting orchestras, Louisville Orchestra music director Teddy Abrams
presides over the second edition of the Festival of American Music, April 15-29.

In Reykjavík Fest, LA Phil Samples Stylistic Mash-Up

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By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – The main events in the Reykjavík Festival sold out months in advance – partly because of LA Phil’s conductor laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen, but mainly because Iceland’s rock band Sigur Rós was on the bill.

Uchida Points Up Composer’s Other Gift: The Clarinet

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By George Loomis

NEW YORK – When Mitsuko Uchida plays a new work for piano at Carnegie Hall, you can bet the composer will want to be there, and the German Jörg Widmann proved to be no exception. He also brought his clarinet along to team up.

New ‘Miniatures’ Pack Program For Spirited Orchestra

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By Esteban Meneses

NAPLES, Fla. – Andrey Boreyko will lead the Naples Philharmonic in three diverse “miniature” world premieres by Nicholas Jacobson-Larson, Giya Kancheli, and Gabriel Prokofiev, in honor of the late art collector Olga Hirshhorn.

French Quartet’s Beethoven Probes To Intricate Core

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By Perry Tannenbaum

SAVANNAH – The Quatuor Ébène delivered revelatory performances of Beethoven’s early Quartet Op. 18. No. 6, and the middle-period Serioso Quartet during the French ensemble’s U.S. tour stop at the Savannah Music Fest.

Coming Events: Taking A Breather On The Fast Track

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By Kyle MacMillan

ON TOUR – As part of the transition that has come with quick acclaim, Russian-born pianist Daniil Trifonov is
paring back his performances to have more time to relax and compose. But first, he has a six-city North American tour.

Virtuosic Pintscher Work Debuts With Soloist Weilerstein

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By Keith Powers

BOSTON – Alisa Weilerstein and the Boston Symphony Orchestra performed Matthias Pintscher’s deeply contemplative new nocturne for cello and orchestra, un despertar, inspired by an Octavio Paz poem.

Bittersweet Opera Reflects On Cuba And Gay Struggle

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By John Fleming

MIAMI – Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls, which deals in freedoms sexual, political, and artistic, received its second production, by the Florida Grand Opera. The work was inspired by the charismatic gay Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas.

Lyricism Layered In Words Of Love By Samuel Adams

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – many words of love, freely inspired by Winterreise, took its bow at the Chicago Symphony under Riccardo Muti and travels east in early 2018. Its imaginative arc suggests the earth breathing or, perhaps, sighing.

Disney’s World: Perfect American, According To Glass

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By Richard S. Ginell

LONG BEACH, Calif. – In what is one of Philip Glass’ most fascinating operas, the story of Walt Disney in The Perfect American is given its U.S. premiere by plucky Long Beach Opera. But don’t expect the Disney family to approve.

Bolcom’s Dinner: Worst Of Times, But Vibrant Opera

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By Michael Anthony

MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Opera gave the world premiere of William Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight, a calamitous tale of Depression-era America and a circle of the dysfunctional rich, after the play by Kaufman and Ferber.

Salonen Concerto Loops Cellist Into Cosmic Virtuosity

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – Esa-Pekka Salonen likens his cadenza-rich Cello Concerto, premiered by Yo-Yo Ma, to a comet with a tail. Now headed to New York, London, and Hamburg, it shimmers with hypnotic counterpoint and digital loops.