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The Met When It’s Good

The Met When It’s Good

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | It’s a real if rare pleasure to walk out of the Metropolitan Opera thinking, “That was an extraordinary performance, worthy of the company’s highest legacy.” I felt that after — and indeed during — February 20’s “Parsifal.” Wagner’s final opera deals meaningfully in redemptive miracles; above all what mattered here was Yannick […]

An Alan Turing Fantasia

An Alan Turing Fantasia

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Gay operatic history may be made January 12 at Manhattan’s Merkin Hall, at the world premiere – in concert – of “The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing.” This historical fantasia, cutting-edge composer Justine F. Chen’s first full-length opera, enlists experienced playwright David Simpatico’s libretto to create speculative versions of the renowned […]

Cavalli Soars as Puccini Sours

Cavalli Soars as Puccini Sours

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Juilliard made a fantastic contribution to the opera season with Zack Winokur’s imagistically haunting, pitch-perfect staging of Francesco Cavalli’s 1651 “Calisto.” The work exemplifies opera’s second generation, in which what had been a restrained, literally aristocratic pastime went public — especially in the fun-house mirror of Venetian culture — and aimed for […]