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Triumphant Tetralogy

Triumphant Tetralogy

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | This year for its annual June Festival — which makes a great add-on to Frameline’s LGBTQ film festival and the Bay Area’s other Pride events — San Francisco Opera really delivered “festival goods.” The company revived Francesca Zambello’s “Ring” cycle for three traversals, developed and honed over the years locally and […]

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 […]

Debbie and Marin

Debbie and Marin

BY DAVID NOH | Deborah Voigt, having survived weight gain, drastic loss, addiction, one marriage, a few toxic relationships, and the most recent, gargantuanly tricky Wagner Ring Cycle revival at the Met, is ready to take it easy now. She has a one-woman show, “Voigt Lessons,” coming up at the 92nd Street Y (February 26; 92y.org), […]

Opera on Summer Lawns

Opera on Summer Lawns

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer venue, leafy Tanglewood in rural — if in places pricey — western Massachusetts, is a delight to visit and seats on the lawn are ultra-cheap. July 27’s matinée concert was to have been led by the venerable Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, who died earlier this year. […]

The Voyage to Oneness 

The Voyage to Oneness 

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | American Opera Projects, a leading force in the gestation and development of important new work for the lyric stage, presents the world première performances of “As One,” which explores and celebrates the journey of a male-to-female transperson, September 4-7 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. New York-born out lesbian composer Laura […]

Opera’s Birthday Boys

Opera’s Birthday Boys

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Washington National Opera’s season started impressively with an uncomplicated but visually pleasing “Tristan und Isolde” staging imported from Sydney. Brian Thomson’s clever unit set presented a liminal, bridge-like space evocatively lit by Rory Dempster, and Neil Armfield’s direction didn’t intrude or force other agendas on the text. The end, however, ineffectively found […]

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 […]