Around the U.S.

Orchestra In Dire Need Of Fixes Found Its Man In Tested Maestro Delfs

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – After long years of problematic musical direction, the Rochester Philharmonic opened its first season under conductor Andreas Delfs, who led a program that displayed well-honed ensemble and a rich orchestral sound.

In A Visceral First, Met Opens With Black Opera About Child Sex Abuse

NEW YORK – Fire Shut Up in My Bones, the first Black-authored opera to be presented at the Met Opera in its 138-year history, is the unflinching and distinctive work of composer Terence Blanchard and librettist Kasi Lemmons.

Wordless Mendelssohn Is Backdrop For Stories Of Jews In New World

NEW YORK – Songwriter Alison Loeb interviewed dozens of her neighbors – German-Jewish immigrants who had fled from the Nazi peril to upper Manhattan. She wrapped their memories in Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words.

Chicagoans And Muti, Together Again, Break Silence In Heroic Style

CHICAGO – Music director Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra celebrated their return to live, in-person performance for the first time in 20 months with a profound account of Beethoven’s monumental Eroica Symphony.

Behind All The Masks, Vibrant Ojai Fest Brings Out Faces New And Old

OJAI, Cal. – The best news that could have possibly come from the 75th Ojai Music Festival Sept. 16-19 is that it happened at all. After missing a year because of the pandemic, the festival's spirit of adventure was alive again in far-ranging fare.

Beethoven Times Two Plus Open Hall Equals Bright Start To Season

HOUSTON – As much a pep rally as a first night, the Houston Symphony Orchestra's 2021-22 season opener under music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada served up a stylish Beethoven Triple Concerto and a blazing Fifth Symphony.

Opera’s Racial Tragedy Transcends Obstacles Of An Open-Air Staging

DETROIT – Blue, composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tazewell Thompson's intimate and compelling music drama about a Black cop whose teenage son is shot dead by another cop, struggled against conditions in a 6,000-seat arena.

Hardships In Sea Lanes: Slavery, Impressment, And All As Lyric Drama

NEW YORK – On Site Opera boarded a 19th-century tall ship Aug. 28 for What Lies Beneath, an immersive music theater event weaving the slave trade and other vicissitudes of the high seas into a mournful and affecting program.

Village Opera Festival Spotlights Community And Emerging Voices

PHOENICIA, N.Y. – This woodsy hamlet has grown the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice into an energetic and engaging event that saw productions this summer of Mascagni's L'amico Fritz, Verdi's Rigoletto, and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci.

‘Sweet Land,’ A Searing Revision Of U.S. History, Wins Opera Of The Year

BREAKING NEWS - The creation of a diverse team under the collective aegis of The Industry, Sweet Land, invoking America's untold story, is the winner of the 2021 Music Critics Association of North America’s Best New Opera Award.

Blomstedt And Williams Close Out Tanglewood On Grand, Wistful Note

LENOX, Mass. – The Boston Symphony Orchestra's truncated Tanglewood season concluded with wonderful Brahms conducted by Herbert Blomstedt and a tour of John Williams' great film scores under the composer's baton.

Not Bass, Not Baritone, Davóne Tines Revels In A Register All His Own

PERSPECTIVE – Tines, who has burst onto the world's music stages, commands a range of more than three octaves, from low D to high E-flat. He says he is neither a bass nor a baritone: “It’s a broader conception of how to think about voice.”

Glimmerglass Al Fresco: Opera As Brew Of Sunny Voices, Dicey Weather

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – After losing a season to Covid in 2020, the Glimmerglass Festival reopened outdoors as “Glimmerglass on the Grass.” Despite weather that swung from chilly rain to hot sun, there was much to celebrate.

New Harbor Front Shell Could Bring Sea Change To San Diego Symphony

SAN DIEGO – Cultural San Diego has a new attraction to compete with the beaches and the Zoo. It's the San Diego Symphony's snazzy and imposing downtown waterfront performance venue known locally as The Shell.

Where Ancient Peaks Embrace Old Friends, Music Adds Its Wonder

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – The Grand Tetons Music Festival, beloved for its natural grandeur, draws a faithful band of musicians from all over the U.S. as well as Europe. Says one veteran player: "I see those mountains and breathe a sense of release."

Glimpsed In Clear Light Of Glass, New Rzewski Proves A Thicket Of Bits

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – The plinks and plunks of Frederic Rzewski’s Amoramaro, written for pianist Lisa Moore’s birthday before the composer died in June, paled in comparison with Philip Glass' fluid Mad Rush, also heard in Moore's recital.

War’s Private Anguish, Personal Loss Explode In Opera ‘Glory Denied’

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. – The Berkshire Opera Festival production pulled no punches, like the work itself by composer Tom Cipullo, about a real-life Green Beret and nine-year POW who returns home from Vietnam to a life in ruins.

Adès’ Creative Choices Spell Success Despite Trim At New Music Fest

LENOX, Mass. – The Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood was reduced to three concerts this year, but composer-curator Thomas Adès still managed variety, programming thirteen works by twelve composers from seven countries.

Corigliano Premiere Tops Summer Signal That Opera Is Back

SANTA FE, N.M. – John Corigliano's The Lord of Cries, which blends The Bacchae with Dracula, came to the stage in a stunning Santa Fe Opera season also notable for a potent Eugene Onegin: All told, a reminder of what we’ve been missing.

Balsom’s Star Power Lights Up Musgrave’s New Trumpet Concerto

LOS ANGELES – The 93-year-old Thea Musgrave was on hand to wave to the crowd at the LA Phil's U.S. premiere of her Trumpet Concerto -- after British virtuoso Alison Balsom delivered a shining turn through the work with conductor Tianyi Lu.
Classical Voice North America