Around the U.S.

Puccini’s Western Finds Comfy Home At City Opera

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By Anne E. Johnson

NEW YORK – With its production of La fanciulla del West, New York City Opera has struck gold. The next opera on a similar subject, John Adams’ and Peter Sellars’ Girls of the Golden West, debuts in San Francisco in November.

Musical Marathon: Intrepid Piano Duo Distills Mahler Six

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By Wynne Delacoma

CHICAGO – For the Ravinia Festival chamber music series, Inna Faliks and Daniel Schlosberg reflected the complexity of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony in a transcription for piano, four hands, by Alexander Zemlinsky.

Edgy New Concerto Challenges ‘Safety’ Of Hollywood Bowl

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By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – Daníel Bjarnason’s strange new Violin Concerto performed by Finnish maverick Pekka Kuusisto is not what you would call normal Hollywood Bowl fare. Credit Gustavo Dudamel for spending goodwill capital on a wild ride.

Tanglewood Fest Aims Wide Lens At Modern Music

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By Keith Powers

LENOX, Mass. – As curated by Jacob Greenberg, Nadia Sirota, and Kathryn Bates, the 2017 Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood drew on composers from their 30-something generation and works from the 20th century.

It’s Die Winterreise, But Reimagined And (Up)Staged

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By Susan Brodie

NEW YORK – Mostly Mozart reached into Schubert with the US. premiere of Hans Zendler’s extravagantly orchestrated version, staged by Netia Jones for tenor Ian Bostridge. The sensory onslaught distracted from the emotional core.

As New Director, Măcelaru Brings Flair To Cabrillo

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By Richard S. Ginell

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – For his first season as music director of the incorrigibly progressive Cabrillo Festival, Cristian Măcelaru is leading a flurry of premieres, including a made-to-order tour de force for percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

Postmodern Alcina In Baroque Style – And Gender Melee

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.