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Mostly Met

Mostly Met

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Busy with several choral groups, Kent Tritle conducted the Oratorio Society’s invigorating Carnegie “Messiah” on December 18. The orchestra proved adequate if not exceptional, though trumpeter Scott McIntosh scored alongside Dashon Burton’s lively, well-projected bass-baritone in their marvelous joint aria. This venerable amateur chorus makes an impressive sound, not always flawless […]

Road Shows

Road Shows

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Washington National Opera had two aces in the hole for its staging of “La fille du régiment,” heard November 18 – redeeming what was otherwise problematic. The production was by a “director and choreographer” — always a red flag in my experience if you’re not dealing with an opera-ballet – Robert Longbottom. […]

Season Closers

Season Closers

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | James Levine got hero’s welcomes before, after, and during April 13’s Met “Simon Boccanegra.” That has become standard for the music director as he is — well, “eased out” is not how one would put it. When I can, I now avoid Levine’s first nights. By a few shows in, thanks […]

Paris in the Springtime

Paris in the Springtime

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Trips to Paris always put matters operatic in perspective. Opera’s capital in the 19th century, the city drew international composers and singers to much inspired –– and doubtless also much banal — creativity. Largely in eclipse after World War II save for a few masterpieces, opera’s “French school” periodically re-examines its […]

Grand Operas

Grand Operas

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | It was exciting to hear one of Donizetti’s final operas, 1840’s “La Favorite,” in the language and city — though not the theater — for which it was conceived. The elegant Theatre des Champs-Elysees has only graced Paris since 1913. Despite serious flu besetting both female principals — Alice Coote (Leonor) and […]