Strauss’ Arabella: Hidden Trove Of Seductive Beauty

Share
By Ilana Walder-Biesanz

SAN FRANCISCO – Richard Strauss’ lyric comedy Arabella languishes on the edges of the core operatic repertoire, but its charms were evident at the San Francisco Opera with German conductor Marc Albrecht making his U.S. opera debut.

Full Story - →

In Wainwright’s Hadrian, Musical Merit, Iffy Libretto

Share
By Arthur Kaptainis

TORONTO – Despite a story of fiery passion and a score with many highlights, Rufus Wainwright’s second opera needs a rewrite. The Canadian Opera Company brought a dream production team and a stellar cast to the premiere.

Full Story - →

Gardiner Relishes Berlioz’s Riotous Sonic Creativity

Share
By Susan Brodie

NEW YORK – The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique played two Carnegie Hall programs of music by the French composer under John Eliot Gardiner, awakening ears to arresting period-instrument colors.

Full Story - →

Handel’s Solomon At Royal Opera Is One For The Ages

Share
By John W. Lambert

LONDON – The Royal Opera House’s concert version of the 1749 oratorio featured a superb cast, the orchestra of the Early Opera Company led by founder Christian Curnyn, and a dazzling showing from the Royal Opera Chorus.

Full Story - →

Alfresco Creation Takes Long Opera To New Dimension

Share
By Susan Brodie

NEW YORK – David Lang’s The Mile-Long Opera asks the audience to walk through “a biography of 7 o’clock” told in fragments by 1,000 singers stationed along the High Line, an elevated rail bed on Manhattan’s far west side.

Full Story - →

Early Music Group Champions Superb Ockeghem Rarities

Share
By Marvin J. Ward

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – As part of its long-term project Ockeghem@600, Blue Heron vocal ensemble showcased the Missa Cuiusvis toni (Mass in Any Tone) and other works by the 15th-century composer Johannes Ockeghem.

Full Story - →

The Neighborhood Is Threatened By Hip Replacements

Share
By Anne E. Johnson

BROOKLYN – Ted Hearne’s new opera, Place, with a libretto co-written by slam poet Saul Williams, explores the stresses of gentrification – which is seen all around the world premiere’s venue, the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Full Story - →

Worst Mom Goes Mad, In French, At The Staatsoper

Share
By Rebecca Schmid

BERLIN – In her role debut, soprano Sonya Yoncheva launched herself fearlessly into the drama of Cherubini’s Médée. Andrea Breth’s new production for the Staatsoper
follows a wave of stagings in the original language.

Full Story - →

Around the U.S.

Elizabeth DeShong And The Art, Lure Of Bel Canto Opera

Share
By Roy C. Dicks

INTERVIEW – American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong, soon to sing another Adalgisa, has had success in a range of roles from Suzuki to Hänsel to Hermia, but it’s the bel canto niche that’s bringing her international renown.

LA Phil Unveils Vibrant Andrew Norman Creation

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – The LA Phil kicked off its centennial season under music director Gustavo Dudamel with a program pairing the Norman premiere with works by Beethoven and conductor laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen.

From Rough Youth To Opera World’s Greatest Stages

Share
By Patrick D. McCoy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In his Marian Anderson Vocal Award recital at the Kennedy Center, bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green offered a program that reflected his journey and the “village” that brought him to this important moment.

Browse Archive →

Around Canada

Chang’s Ferocious Mahler Fifth Pulls Out All The Stops

Share
By Arthur Kaptainis

TORONTO – Can there be too much energy on the podium? Cellist-turned-conductor Han-Na Chang’s intensely kinetic approach to Mahler with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra was a nonstop spectacle but became a bit exhausting.

Orchestra Brings First Nations Culture To Stage

Share
By Arthur Kaptainis

MONTREAL – In its season opener, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra premiered Chaakapesh, The Trickster’s Quest, a chamber opera sung in Cree about the adventures of the eponymous Aboriginal mythical hero.

Magic Of Mozart, In A Staging Both Novel, Traditional

Share
By Arthur Kaptainis

QUEBEC CITY – The Festival d’opéra de Québec’s marquee production affirms stage director Robert Lepage’s status as a leading conservative of our time. Mozart’s humanistic message shines through Ex Machina’s dazzling visuals.

Browse Archive →

International

Dun Links Ancient, Modern Worlds In New Violin Work

Share
By Xenia Hanusiak

OSLO – Violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing, who has long championed music of Tan Dun, premiered Fire Ritual, which draws from techniques of erhu and guqin, at the Ultima Contemporary Music Festival, the composer conducting.

Boston Camerata’s Liberty Tree: Early Americana In Paris

Share
By Jason Victor Serinus

PARIS – The Camerata, an early music group, performed a program of American patriotic and religious tunes from the 18th and 19th centuries during the themed weekend it shared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Philharmonie.

In City Of Love, BSO And Nelsons Receive Beaucoup

Share
By Jason Victor Serinus

PARIS – The Philharmonie’s Boston Weekend opened with a Mahler Third so stunning that the audience refused to bid adieu to the performers – Andris Nelsons leading the Boston Symphony, Susan Graham, and Paris choruses.

Browse Archive →

Issues in the Arts

Season Of Verdi Reflects Lifelong Passion Of Conlon

Share
By Kyle MacMillan

INTERVIEW – American conductor James Conlon will lead 39 performances of the Italian composer’s works in 2018-19, reaching his 500th Verdi performance overall. He’s not yet saying where that landmark performance will be.

Pulitzer Compass Key To Mapping American Music

Share
By Johanna Keller

TOKYO – At the recent institute on Music From Japan, I was asked to sum up musical trends in North America today. A brief survey of the last eight Pulitzer winners reveals a rich landscape: chaotic, diverse, experimental, many-faceted.

Archive Retrieves Golden Interviews With Studs Terkel

Share
By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – When Louis “Studs” Terkel left WFMT in 1997 after 45 years on the air, he took more than 5,600 of his reel-to-reel tape chats with the A-list of culture at large. That treasury of incredible stories is getting new digital life.

Browse Archive →

Disc and Stream

Back To Blitzstein, Political Roots Of Cradle Will Rock

Share
By Paul Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – The premiere of this highly political piece proved to be one of the seminal moments in American musical theater. More than 82 years later, we finally have a recording of the original orchestration.

(R)evolution-ary Opera About Steve Jobs Arrives On CD

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – One of the biggest immediate successes of the 2017 music season was the world premiere of Mason Bates’ The (R)evolution Of Steve Jobs, which is now available in a recording from the inaugural Santa Fe Opera production.

New CD Unearths Three Diamonds, All In The Rough

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Works by David Diamond, including the first commerical recording of his Symphony No. 6, are roundly unsatisfying in performances by Indiana University ensembles conducted by Arthur Fagen.

Browse Archive →

MCANA Hosted Blogs

Monterey Jazz Salutes The Year Of The Woman

Share
By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West

MONTEREY, Calif. – The 61st Monterey Jazz Festival Sep. 21-23 was billed as a salute to “The Year Of The Woman” – and they weren’t kidding. Trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and alto saxophonist Tia Fuller were designated as the artists-in-residence, singer Dianne Reeves was the 2018 Showcase Artist. The schedule was loaded.

Unreleased Coltrane CDs Stir Up The Jazz World – Again

Share

By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
Everyone in jazzland seems to be weighing in on the release this week of Both Directions …

Fanciful Turandot Takes The Stage At Lyric Opera Of Chicago

Share
By Dorothy Andries: Windy City Arts

A China-that-never-was opened on the stage of Lyric Opera of Chicago, complete with a giant eye-popping dragon, which hovered with considerable menace in Puccini’s “Turandot.”

Browse Archive →