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Claire De Couture

Claire De Couture

BY DAVID NOH | The history of fashion is awash with the names of male gay designers, but there have been surprisingly few women couturiers who have identified as queer. There were once bisexual whispers about Coco Chanel and, recently, Jill Sander has been quite open about her lesbianism. A couple of summers ago, I […]

Spirited Revivals, Reviving Spirits

Spirited Revivals, Reviving Spirits

BY ELI JACOBSON | After a grueling, spiritually exhausting summer of labor negotiations, the Metropolitan Opera has gotten back to work presenting revivals of repertory standards. In many ways, these are better indicators of the company’s current health than the new production of “Le Nozze di Figaro” that opened the season. Sir Richard Eyre’s elaborately […]

Theseus Rides The Bull 

Theseus Rides The Bull 

BY BRIAN McCORMICK  | There have been many versions of the myth of Theseus, founder-king of Athens and, like Jesus, the son of two possible fathers and one mother. In Mark Dendy’s new dance-play “Labyrinth,” the artist draws inspiration from Mary Renault’s 1958 Bildungsroman “The King Must Die” and weaves in his own personal historical […]

New Starts

New Starts

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | September brought good news to New York’s opera world. The American Opera Projects premiered a fine new work of unusual interest to the LGBT community, Laura Kaminsky’s “As One.” And the Metropolitan, after bruising labor negotiations, opened on time, with an uneven new staging of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” and a […]

Glimmerglass Scores Solidly 

Glimmerglass Scores Solidly 

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Artistic and general director Francesca Zambello and managing director Linda Jackson crafted a Glimmerglass season of operas unified by both thematic plot links — women abandoned by men — and a performance history trope of being revised versions of originals. Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” and Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” got played in their […]

Opera on Summer Lawns

Opera on Summer Lawns

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer venue, leafy Tanglewood in rural — if in places pricey — western Massachusetts, is a delight to visit and seats on the lawn are ultra-cheap. July 27’s matinée concert was to have been led by the venerable Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, who died earlier this year. […]

The Voyage to Oneness 

The Voyage to Oneness 

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | American Opera Projects, a leading force in the gestation and development of important new work for the lyric stage, presents the world première performances of “As One,” which explores and celebrates the journey of a male-to-female transperson, September 4-7 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. New York-born out lesbian composer Laura […]

Marginally Mozart, Masterfully Mark Morris

Marginally Mozart, Masterfully Mark Morris

BY ELI JACOBSON | Handel’s pastoral masterpiece “Acis and Galatea” started out in 1718 as an English masque based on a theme from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” and evolved into a bilingual “serenata” (a semi-staged concert opera in costume) in 1732 and was expanded into a two-act “little opera” in 1739. It was incredibly popular during Handel’s […]

Nellie’s Billy

Nellie’s Billy

BY DAVID NOH | One of the great enigmas in the music world, William Lee “Billy” Tipton (1914 – 1989) was an American jazz musician and bandleader, who, it was discovered after his death, was born a woman. Named Dorothy Louise Tipton at birth in Oklahoma, he took his father’s name, “Billy,” when he started his […]

Operatic Game-Changers

Operatic Game-Changers

BY ELI JACOBSON | Throughout the 19th century, opera composers strived to break away from the “number opera” format — a series of separate musical pieces in conventional forms interspersed with recitative or dialogue that moved the action forward. Through-composed operas created set pieces that carried the dramatic action forward without stopping the orchestra or […]

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