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Manhandeled

Manhandeled

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Williamsburg’s National Sawdust has stolen the limelight from Le Poisson Rouge as the “go to” place for hip events in the classical industry. The space is interesting and presents all kinds of experimental work. On July 20, it hosted the fourth and last performance of a production of Handel’s “Aci, Galatea e […]

From Gotham to Palmetto

From Gotham to Palmetto

BY DAVID SHENGOLD| Alan Gilbert took his leave of the New York Philharmonic’s music directorship on June 6 with the third of three concert readings of “Das Rheingold.” It’s somewhat melancholy to contemplate the triumphant “Le Grand Macabre” with Doug Fitch that began his regime, foretelling a modernizing transformation in the Phil’s nature that never […]

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 — […]

Roaming Operagoer  

Roaming Operagoer  

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Victor DeRenzi has put Sarasota Opera on the map through an ultra-complete Verdi cycle that “Aida” and the rare “La battaglia di Legnano” completed this year in the company’s wonderfully intimate and refurbished 1920s theater. For better and worse, Sarasota is also probably North America’s Ground Zero for traditional productions: most everything […]

In Manhattan, Chicago, Two New Operas

In Manhattan, Chicago, Two New Operas

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Lyric Opera of Chicago’s creation, on December 7, of “Bel Canto,” a first opera by out gay Peruvian-born Jimmy López was a big deal. The work had been “curated” by Renée Fleming, creative consultant to the company, resulting, impressively, in a near sold-out run of nine performances. Television cameras filmed the sixth […]

Bi-Coastal Opera

Bi-Coastal Opera

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Neal Goren’s always interesting Gotham Opera started its season October 14 at the Lynch Theater with a Bohuslav Martinu double bill that looked great — Gotham shows almost always do — but left one wanting musically. The urbane Czech composer penned works, including “Julietta” and “The Greek Passion,” that deserve renewed local […]

New Year’s Eve 1899, 2013, and Moments In Between

New Year’s Eve 1899, 2013, and Moments In Between

BY ELI JACOBSON | Under the Gelb administration, the Metropolitan Opera has employed its New Year’s Eve Gala as a vehicle to unveil new productions. To ring in 2014, the Met relied on a traditional standby –– Johann Strauss, Jr.’s operetta “Die Fledermaus” –– pitching yet another Otto Schenk/ Günther Schneider-Siemssen production onto the scrap heap […]

Full Count in Cooperstown

Full Count in Cooperstown

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | “Der fliegende Höllander” was the Glimmerglass Festival’s first canonical Wagner (his early “Das Liebesverbot” was presented in 2008). August 16’s musical performance under John Keenan succeeded admirably — though the brass section, as in most theaters, had issues. Standard cuts were (admirably) opened in Act Three’s trio, but curiously Francesca Zambello placed […]