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Season’s Finale

Season’s Finale

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | My last Met show this season was Verdi’s “Un ballo in maschera,” very well conducted by veteran James Levine two days after he did an equally impressive “Rake’s Progress.” Perhaps these days it’s best to skip the opening night of a Levine revival; things seem to gel much more by the second […]

Character Actress Assoluta   

Character Actress Assoluta   

BY DAVID NOH | That absolute goddess of a character actress Julie Halston is having quite the year. After demolishing both audiences and admiring critics with the most hilarious cameo appearance ever in “You Can’t Take It with You,” she immediately went into “On the Town” for a short stint replacing Jackie Hoffman, and is now […]

Warm Voices for Cold Spring Nights   

Warm Voices for Cold Spring Nights   

BY ELI JACOBSON | It seems that every year the Metropolitan Opera schedules a short revival of a difficult 20th century opera and it turns out to be one of the season highlights.  This season was bookended by two such revivals — a superb “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” in November and the sensational return of Stravinsky’s […]

18th Century Fachs  

18th Century Fachs  

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Stephen Wadsworth directed a pleasing “Nozze di Figaro” at Juilliard, with his trademark visual taste and attention to detail. Charlie Corcoran’s very basic sets made sense — for once, hurrah, Act IV actually portrayed a garden — and Camille Assaf’s costumes were gorgeous and flattering. Wadsworth illuminated every exchange, also making a […]

Wonderful Wanamaker  

Wonderful Wanamaker  

BY DAVID NOH | One of the greatest, most versatile actresses alive, Zoë Wanamaker, just graced our city with her appearance in the Encores! revival of “Zorba!” Having long admired her on stage and screen, I dashed to interview her and found her to be wonderfully warm, with a wicked wit and terrific recall. “The last […]

Send In the Clowns  

Send In the Clowns  

BY ELI JACOBSON | Though “Send in the Clowns” is Sondheim’s most popular song, very few people understand the significance of the title. It was generally thought to be a circus reference — whenever an accident or injury occurs in the ring, the ringmaster will send in the clowns to divert the audience’s attention. However, Sondheim […]

Paris in the Springtime

Paris in the Springtime

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Trips to Paris always put matters operatic in perspective. Opera’s capital in the 19th century, the city drew international composers and singers to much inspired –– and doubtless also much banal — creativity. Largely in eclipse after World War II save for a few masterpieces, opera’s “French school” periodically re-examines its […]

New Voices Make their Mark

New Voices Make their Mark

BY ELI JACOBSON | It used to be that when cancellations occurred at the Metropolitan Opera it was a cause for disappointment and concern; lately it has become a cause for celebration. This season has seen numerous cast changes –– “La Bohème” had 15 performances and after the opening night every one had a cast […]

Paris. The One in Texas.

Paris. The One in Texas.

BY MICHAEL SHIREY | He sure has come a long way — Seth Sikes performed his third sold-out performance at 54 Below on Thursday, April 16, aptly titled “Seth Sikes is Still Singing Judy Garland.” Sikes kicked off the evening with a medley of “Lucky Day,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “Everybody Sing” before launching into a […]

And Now, Grindr: The Opera

And Now, Grindr: The Opera

BY ELI JACOBSON |  Some years ago, New York and Philadelphia-based actor, singer, playwright, and composer Erik Ransom came up with the idea of creating a cabaret theater piece about the gay sex hook-up site Manhunt.net. But the world of online gay dating evolved faster than the piece did. Soon gay men were ditching their […]

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