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Boston, Houston, Manhattan Transfer

Boston, Houston, Manhattan Transfer

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Lincoln Center’s annual White Light Festival kicked off with a pleasing program November 1 at the Rose Theater, focused on a reprise of the Pergolesi “Stabat Mater,” some of the most inspiriting — and certainly influential — music of the 18th century, directed and choreographed by Jessica Lang. First seen at Glimmerglass […]

R.E.M.’s Pinnacle, A Quarter Century On

R.E.M.’s Pinnacle, A Quarter Century On

BY STEVE ERICKSON | At the time “Automatic For the People” came out in 1992, I had abandoned my earlier fandom of R.E.M. — who helped popularize college radio in the ‘80s and pave the way for the commercial success of grunge and indie rock in the ‘90s — because hits like “Stand” and “Shiny […]

Shamir Settles Happily into a New Genre

Shamir Settles Happily into a New Genre

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Genderqueer artist Shamir has made one of the more radical transformations in recent music. He followed up his 2015 debut album, “Ratchet,” which was steeped in ‘80s house music and dance club-oriented beats, with “Hope,” a collection of rock songs self-released as a free download to the website SoundCloud that seemingly consisted […]

No Exit

No Exit

BY ELI JACOBSON | One of the more adventurous offerings of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2017 – 2018 opera season is the US premiere of Thomas Adès’ “The Exterminating Angel.” The Adès opera, based on Luis Buñuel’s enigmatic 1962 surrealist film “El Ángel Exterminador,” arrived in New York after premiering last summer at the Salzburg Festival with […]

Vivian Reed’s Boldly Wide Range

Vivian Reed’s Boldly Wide Range

BY DAVID NOH | In show business, there are no divas held in higher regard than Lena Horne. So, if anyone even entertains the notion of doing a project on her, like, say, Leslie Uggams or Vanessa Williams, they’d better be able to fill her Ferragamos. Such a one is definitely that total bombshell of a […]

La Dulcet Musto

La Dulcet Musto

BY TRAV S. D. | There may have been more powerful columnists in the history of American journalism than Michael Musto, but none was ever more adored, for he radiates a personality and humor as great as — and often greater than — the celebrities he covers. For nearly 30 years (1984-2013), his Village Voice column […]

Julien Baker’s Assuredness

Julien Baker’s Assuredness

BY STEVE ERICKSON | For an artist who has only released two albums, out lesbian singer/ songwriter Julien Baker has an astonishingly assured vision. She wrote all the songs on her second album, “Turn Out the Lights,” produced it, and plays the main instruments on it. Her production and the album’s arrangements sound relatively spare even […]

Bernstein’s Centennial & Local Gems

Bernstein’s Centennial & Local Gems

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | The year 2018 will mark Leonard Bernstein’s centenary, so expect multiple unveilings of his music theater pieces. The Philadelphia Orchestra’s welcomely out Canadian maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin, in pec-flaunting casual clothes, led off the celebration October 12 with a concert staging of “West Side Story.” The edition cut much dialogue and several non-singing […]

“Norma” Rises from the Ashes

“Norma” Rises from the Ashes

BY ELI JACOBSON | Vincenzo Bellini’s “Norma” is considered the summit of bel canto, a masterpiece that inspired Wagner and Schopenhauer. Felice Romani’s libretto and Bellini’s music elevate the character of Norma to profound tragedy, the Medea-like druid priestess’ vengeful fury transformed into sublime self-sacrifice in the opera’s finale. Too often, however, hacks are put in […]

Normalizing Male Vulnerability

Normalizing Male Vulnerability

BY DAVID NOH | “Saudade” is the title of the newest dance piece by 30-year-old Canadian Joshua Beamish. “It’s a Portuguese word,” the handsome dancer/ director/ choreographer told Gay City News at the Hudson Diner, “that has no direct English translated equivalent. The closest I can come to is that it’s a feeling that is […]

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