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Snake Oil

Snake Oil

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Cerise Lim Jacobs, the intrepid and artistically ambitious muscle behind the long-in-gestation “Ouroboros Trilogy” just unveiled in Boston, has much of which to be proud. Though her texts are sporadically awkward and overly allusive, the powerful stories unfurled in them — different aspects of the Chinese legend of Madame White Snake — […]

Mostly Marvelous Mozart

Mostly Marvelous Mozart

BY ELI JACOBSON | This year’s Mostly Mozart Festival kicked off on July 25 with an all-star gala concert of Mozart’s operatic hit parade billed as “The Illuminated Heart.” The stunning video projections, costumes, illuminations, and visual effects were designed by Netia Jones who also directed the show. A mix of familiar Mozart specialists and new […]

Madonna and Michael’s Main Man

Madonna and Michael’s Main Man

BY DAVID NOH | The director and choreographer Vince Paterson may not be known to you by name, but you definitely know his work. The dazzling dance moves you’ve seen in the most iconic music videos — from Michael Jackson and Madonna to films like “Dancer in the Dark,” “Evita,” and “The Birdcage,” among countless others […]

Bow Ties and C-Sharps

Bow Ties and C-Sharps

BY DAVID NOH | I’ll come right out and say it, although he’d hate it: Aaron Weinstein is a genius. The first time I saw the musician enter a stage — the ultimate long, lean, bespectacled, bow-tied, and quite adorable nerdling — whip out his violin, and proceed to share his intense, elegant, and drily […]

Forgotten Treasures of Bel Canto

Forgotten Treasures of Bel Canto

BY ELI JACOBSON | One of the ironies of music — and art in general — is that today’s popular sensation may be tomorrow’s historical footnote in an academic journal. This summer several operatic dead letters reemerged from two centuries of oblivion, shook off the dust and strutted their stuff. Will Crutchfield led Gioachino Rossini’s opera […]

Tom Goss Confronts His Fears

Tom Goss Confronts His Fears

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Out singer and songwriter Tom Goss, touring in support of his sixth album, “What Doesn’t Break, performs at the Metropolitan Room in Chelsea this month. Probably best known for his jaunty song “Bears,” Goss takes a darker direction with this CD, with songs revealing a troubled childhood but also anthems […]

Italian Composer, Japanese Geisha Girl

Italian Composer, Japanese Geisha Girl

BY ELI JACOBSON | In the early 1880s, two young Italian composers studied together at the Milan Conservatory, sharing an apartment and living the bohemian life of struggling artists. Their names were Pietro Mascagni and Giacomo Puccini, and for a time they led parallel lives. Five years younger than Puccini, Mascagni found success first in […]

Exploring the Wilderness in Search of Love

Exploring the Wilderness in Search of Love

BY ELI JACOBSON | The search for love is a central drive in life and art. Love can take us into unfamiliar places — both in the wilds of our imagination and physically beyond the safety of our homes. Two operas presented this summer explored that search. New York City Opera followed up their rather uncertain […]

Yazbek & McClure

Yazbek & McClure

BY DAVID NOH | When I met my favorite living musical composer, David Yazbek, at the June 21 press preview at 54 Below for its upcoming shows, I threw a very unfamiliar name at him. “J. Akuhead Pupule,” I said. “Ever hear of him? Thought not. But you’re right: it does sound Hawaiian. He was actually […]

Autos and an Auto-da-Fe

Autos and an Auto-da-Fe

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | It’s delightful to be in San Francisco in June, with Frameline’s massive LGBTQ film festival just the pinnacle of Bay Area cultural events for a diverse community. This year’s San Francisco Opera line-up offered appealing prospects in three of the greatest operas ever written: “Don Carlo,” “Jenufa,” and “Carmen” — the Verdi […]

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