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Bicoastal Voices

Bicoastal Voices

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | The Little Opera Theatre of NY offered a very pleasant surprise at Baruch’s impressive Performing Arts Center March 24 with “Piramo e Tisbe” by Hamburg-born Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783), a local premiere. One thinks of Hasse as Handel without the psychology; but the music (under harpsichordist Elliot Figg) was delightful and formally […]

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 […]

Wagner Nights in Two Cities

Wagner Nights in Two Cities

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Last month, Washington National Opera finally mounted three complete “Ring” cycles in the compelling, image-rich production by Francesca Zambello that began in 2006. WNO ran out of funds in 2008’s crash and so “Götterdämmerung” got seen first at San Francisco Opera, the project’s co-sponsor. The whole company, onstage and off, and the […]

Women on the Verge

Women on the Verge

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | The Boston Symphony, on October 21, gave a Carnegie Hall performance of Richard Strauss’ mighty “Elektra” that can surely be termed “historic” — as much for the remarkably skilled and sonorous playing under Andris Nelsons as for Christine Goerke’s extraordinarily committed, accomplished singing and acting in the title role. This brilliant score […]

Just like Old Times

Just like Old Times

BY ELI JACOBSON | In the first decade of James Levine’s artistic era at the Metropolitan Opera, two directors emerged who dominated the Italian and German wings with a traditional production style. The Italian director-designer Franco Zeffirelli created a series of visually spectacular Puccini productions in the 1980s that wowed audiences, though critics demurred. The Austrian […]

Three Centuries of Voice

Three Centuries of Voice

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | October 24 proved a happy night at the Metropolitan Opera: a performance of Bellini’s mighty “Norma” in which all four leads belonged on the great stage. How often does that happen in major “red sauce” Italian operas these days? The John Copley/ John Conklin production remains an eyesore, with incredibly gauche, senseless […]