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“Before Night Falls” Takes Miami

“Before Night Falls” Takes Miami

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Out Cuban-American composer Jorge Martín’s opera “Before Night Falls” — based on the vivid, sometimes steamy posthumous memoirs of charismatic poet and novelist Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990) — stands as one of this century’s most exciting and musically enjoyable new operas.  Martín obtained the rights before Julian Schnabel made his popular 2000 film […]

Lisa Kron of “Fun Home” Fame Honored

Lisa Kron of “Fun Home” Fame Honored

BY DAVID NOH | On February 6, I attended one of my favorite events, the 27th annual Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre presented at ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Named after the late Ed Kleban, the quite wonderful lyricist for “A Chorus Line,” the prize is given to two honorees annually […]

Long Lines

Long Lines

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | At 16, I saw the Met’s current production of “I puritani”, which the company revived with mixed success February 10. The staging (Sandro Sequi), sets (Ming Cho Lee), and costumes (Peter J. Hall) were in a deliberated antiquated style — scrims, drops, stand-and-sing chorus — beloved of the “muscle” behind the project, […]

Mermaids, Merimée, Housman, and Holofernes

Mermaids, Merimée, Housman, and Holofernes

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | The Met needed a new “Rusalka” to replace Otto Schenk’s antique Vienna-sourced fairy-tale version, which witnessed some extraordinary performances starring Gabriela Benacková and Renee Fleming. Given Mary Zimmerman’s catastrophic history at this theater, what she and her fine design team produced, seen February 2, proved quite creditable and enjoyable — if short […]

Outing the Atonal Music of Mr. Copland

Outing the Atonal Music of Mr. Copland

BY GERALD BUSBY | At a recent concert featuring the serial music of Aaron Copland (1900-1990), Adam Tendler played “Piano Fantasy” — a piece I first heard 60 years ago. William Masselos was the pianist on that occasion, and he hammered home the stiff angularity of the music as if force-feeding the audience something they […]

Winter Voices at Lincoln Center

Winter Voices at Lincoln Center

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | In principle it was a good idea for the reconstituted NYCO to revive “Candide”: the Bernstein centennial approaches, and there’s life in the 1956 musical yet, as Glimmerglass showed quite handily in 2015. Some attractive names from Broadway as well as opera took part, and at the second show January 7 […]

They Know How to Love Her

They Know How to Love Her

BY DAVID NOH | She was quite literally a goddess of song. Amazonian, too, standing six feet tall with a luscious face that bespoke the beauties in canvases by Gauguin and Burne-Jones. And when she opened that succulent mouth, waves of dulcet, soulful resonance enveloped you like the warmest, most sensual aural caress, with, intriguingly, […]

Willa Kim’s Searing Signature

Willa Kim’s Searing Signature

BY DAVID NOH | A multitude of adjectives could be used to describe designer Willa Kim, who passed away in late December at the age of 99 on Vashon Island, Washington, but, somehow, “redoubtable” springs first to mind. She and I were both full-on Cancers, with no Earth in our charts, according to her. We […]

What They Did for Love

What They Did for Love

BY ELI JACOBSON | Passionate women who go to extreme lengths for love eventually making the ultimate sacrifice are the lifeblood of opera. The winter opera season brought us several shattering portraits of women who live and die for love. Only a few hours before 2017 began, Juliet Capulet died for love in the New […]

Debbie Reynolds Kicked Ass

Debbie Reynolds Kicked Ass

BY DAVID NOH | And now, both Carrie Fisher, 60, and her equally movie-starry mother, Debbie Reynolds, 84, have truly gone into legend, the latter heartbreakingly following her daughter’s untimely death one day later. The facile term “icon” has been tossed around a lot lately regarding them, but it is certainly apropos. The trademark movie characters […]