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Rossini’s Revolution Won’t Be Televised

Rossini’s Revolution Won’t Be Televised

BY ELI JACOBSON | At its premiere at the Paris Opéra in 1829, Gioachino Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” (“William Tell”) created a revolution that influenced Verdi, Donizetti, Berlioz, Meyerbeer, and Wagner, changing the course of opera in the 19th century. It was the final opera of Rossini’s career — he retired at age 37. “Tell” has […]

The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens

BY BRIAN McCORMICK | For years, people in the dance field talked about, experimented with, and funded research on “new models” – as in alternative organizational structures and approaches to creative, presenting, funding, audience development, press, and marketing practices. While some of these were enabled or empowered by the rise of social media, surprisingly little institutional […]

African “Macbetto,” Czech Berlioz

African “Macbetto,” Czech Berlioz

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | September 24 in Philadelphia’s Prince Music Theater, a capacity audience heard Third World Bunfight’s adaptation (by Fabrizio Cassol) of Verdi’s “Macbeth.” Presenting this South African troupe continued Opera Philadelphia’s collaboration with the city’s extensive Fringe Festival. The brainchild of director Brett Bailey, this clever, moving, and sometimes quite profound reworking sets […]

Eclectic Piano Man, Ebullient Tony-Winner

Eclectic Piano Man, Ebullient Tony-Winner

BY DAVID NOH | Classical pianist Simon Ghraichy returns to Carnegie Hall on October 14 with a concert entitled “My Hispanic Heritage.” The gay, toweringly tall, lean, multi-ethnic musician with a tumbleweed of hair made quite a visual impression when I interviewed him, but it was nothing compared to the impact when he sat down at […]

Love Boat, Death Boat

Love Boat, Death Boat

BY ELI JACOBSON | The Metropolitan Opera opened its 50th season at Lincoln Center on September 26th with a musically powerful new production of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde.” Mariusz Treliński’s bleakly pessimistic production premiered earlier this year in Baden-Baden to mixed reviews. However, the Met has assembled a musical dream team of Wagnerian heavy hitters: Nina […]

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 […]