Around the U.S.

SF Symphony Goes Multimedia With ‘Klagende Lied’

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By Richard S. Ginell

SAN FRANCISCO – Michael Tilson Thomas combined the ‘Blumine’ movement from Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 with Songs Of A Wayfarer and a semi-staging of Das klagende Lied. It was very clever, instructive programming.

Trio Of 20-minute Operas Premiered In WNO Showcase

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By Charles T. Downey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington National Opera presented three new brief works in the latest edition of the company’s American Opera Initiative. What Gets Kept featured mezzo-soprano Daryl Freedman and tenor Frederick Ballentine.

In Twin Revivals, Candide Glitters, NYC Opera, Too

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By Susan Elliott

NEW YORK – Just a year out of bankruptcy, the New York City Opera is envisioning “the best of all possible worlds” in ticket demand for its 1982 staging of Bernstein’s gem, tweaked by original director Harold Prince for the intimate Rose Theater.

Mata Hari Makes Lackluster Debut At Prototype Fest

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By George Loomis

NEW YORK – Matt Marks’ opera about the dancer and courtesan who was convicted as a German spy during the First World War, featuring a magnetic performance by Tina Mitchell in the leading role, comes up short dramatically.

Gruber’s Piano Concerto Chatters Away At NY Phil

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By Vivien Schweitzer

NEW YORK – The Austrian composer’s work, featuring Emanuel Ax, sometimes felt like listening to a multitude of opinionated voices competing for attention without one ever rising above the fray long enough to make a point.

Grigolo, Damrau Radiant As Met’s Star-Crossed Duo

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By Susan Elliott

NEW YORK  – Tenor Vittorio Grigolo and soprano Diana Damrau headed a solid cast as the Metropolitan Opera kicked off the new year with Bartlett Sher’s gorgeous production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, first seen at Salzburg in 2008.

Coming Events: Bounty Of Opera, New And Notable

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By Kyle MacMillan

DATE BOOK – The PBS broadcast of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s world premiere production of Bel Canto, by Jimmy López and Nilo Cruz, leads off an ambitious series of premieres and novel opera projects in early 2017.

All-Mahler Recital By An Ideal Duo Is All-Around Beauty

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By Lawrence B. Johnson

NEW YORK – In a concise and yet monumental recital at Alice Tully Hall, baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber made a profound journey through Mahler songs about loneliness and life’s consummation in eternity.

Mozart’s Magical Majesty And Mirth Mined In Chicago

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By Lawrence B. Johnson

CHICAGO – The new Lyric Opera of Chicago production of The Magic Flute is a whimsical and musically enchanting show that keeps a traditional look while injecting the work with the feel of a suburban block party.

Joffrey Nutcracker Has Right Balance To Freshen Classic

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By Kyle MacMillan

CHICAGO – Christopher Wheeldon’s choreography of the Tchaikovsky holiday fantasy is a hit for the Joffrey Ballet. Set at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the new staging toes the line between tradition and innovation.

A Composer Will Listen: Overheard Talk Inspires Piece

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By Esteban Meneses

ORLANDO – Stuck in an airport between flights, American composer Lisa Bielawa compiled the random chatter of fellow travelers, which served as the basis for Drama/Self Pity, premiered by the Orlando Philharmonic.

The New World Discovers ‘Third Viennese School’

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By John Fleming

MIAMI BEACH – HK Gruber’s U.S. premiere of into the open…, with percussionist Colin Currie and the New World Symphony, was a mostly somber memorial for Gruber’s longtime publisher at Boosey & Hawkes.

Heggie’s Take On Capra Classic Aims For Wonderful Life

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By William Albright

HOUSTON – Redemption and transformation are at the heart of It’s a Wonderful Life, given its world premiere Dec. 2 by Houston Grand Opera with San Francisco in line for next season. Is this opera destined to become a holiday tradition?

Saariaho, Mälkki Feel Met Love In Historic L’Amour

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By Vivien Schweitzer

NEW YORK – When the curtain fell on Kaija Saariaho’s opulent romance L’Amour de loin, the first opera at the Met by a woman since 1903, the loudest applause fell on the composer and conductor Susanna Mälkki, also a rarity.

Coming Events: 2017 Rings In New Year Of New Music

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By Daniel Hautzinger

DATE BOOK — The New York Philharmonic starts off the new year swinging, with the world premiere of Wynton Marsalis’ The Jungle. Here are more premieres promised at major orchestras in North America in early 2017.

Mahler Tradition Honored With 5th By Concertgebouw

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By Michael Gray

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amsterdam’s famed Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, led by Semyon Bychkov, bespoke its great Mahler legacy with a performance of the Fifth Symphony and a new work by Detlev Glanert on a U.S. tour.

Van Zweden Looks To Be A Keeper In NY Phil Foretaste

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By Leslie Kandell

NEW YORK – The future music director of the Philharmonic gave the Lohengrin prelude the deep pleasure of a long exhale and led a rousing take on Tchaikovsky’s Fourth.
Between them, a new viola concerto by Julia Adolphe.

Work’s Chirpy Wit Caps Centennial For Baltimore SO

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By Charles T. Downey

BALTIMORE – TJ Cole’s clever Double Play, based on calls of the oriole, produced a major league success with a brevity that contrasted to Beethoven’s Ninth as the orchestra under Marin Alsop rounded off its 100th birthday celebration.

From Fall Of Troy To Carthage Pyre: Berlioz In Chicago

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By Roy C. Dicks

CHICAGO  – Only the fifth U.S. company to stage the massive Les Troyens, the Lyric Opera’s new production with Brandon Jovanovich and Susan Graham offered thrilling moments, but the directorial conception diminished the mythic scale.

The Clarinets Are Front, Center For A Minnesota First

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By Michael Anthony

MINNEAPOLIS – Claudio Puntin’s Aroma, a concerto for clarinets with electronic effects, was introduced by the Minnesota Orchestra, with the composer as soloist. Music director Osmo Vänskä, a clarinetist himself, conducted.