By Simon Chin
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Under new music director Gianandrea Noseda, the National Symphony sounded energized, taut, and well disciplined, like dutiful students eager to please a likable teacher at the start of a new school year.
By Mike Telin
CLEVELAND – Margaret Brouwer’s “environmental oratorio,” Voice of the Lake, was inspired by an algae bloom in Lake Erie that caused a water crisis in 2014. Its premiere makes an urgent case that the lake is in trouble.
By Rick Schultz
LOS ANGELES — Yuval Sharon’s War of the Worlds features Annie Gosfield’s riveting score, soprano Hila Plitmann’s tour-de-force portrayal of a Martian, and actress Sigourney Weaver of the Alien films as narrator.
By Colin Eatock
TORONTO – In its ambitious Remembrance Day program, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra featured Jeffrey Ryan’s Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation, with a libretto by Canada’s first official “war poet,” Suzanne Steele.
By Keith Powers
BOSTON – Burke & Hare, by Julian Grant and Mark Campbell, draws on history to relate an entertaining tale of a grim, thankfully abandoned practice – the creation (by any means necessary) of cadavers for sale to a medical school.
By Barbara Jepson
NEW YORK – The Choir of Trinity Wall Street offered the first segment of a compelling project – part of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival – that takes in settings of all 150 Psalms by as many composers, including new commissions.
By Perry Tannenbaum
CHARLOTTE – David DiChiera’s opera Cyrano was directed by the librettist, Bernard Uzan, in an emotional, satisfying revival of the opera seen first in 2007 at Michigan Opera Theatre, a company DiChiera founded and led.
By Rebecca Schmid
BERLIN – Unsuk Chin’s 11-minute Chorós Chordón leaves the listener wanting more. Premiered by the Berlin Phil and slated for an Asia tour, it is one of the brief musical “tapas” commissioned by chief conductor Simon Rattle.
By Nancy Malitz
CHICAGO – Despite musical glories on stage and in the pit, David Poutney’s concept for Die Walküre militates in some ways against the great strengths at the opera’s core: the romantic, sacrificial, and filial forms of love.