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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 […]

18th Century Joys to Cure Today’s Blues

18th Century Joys to Cure Today’s Blues

BY ELI JACOBSON | The mood of the country over the last year has been one of disaffection, discord, disunity, and disgust. The music of Mozart, Beethoven, and Handel is a balm to the ears and the soul, assuring us that there are immutable beauties of the mind and soul that historical aberrations cannot deface or […]

Desert Arts  

Desert Arts  

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Santa Fe Opera, perhaps North America’s most memorably set opera venue, is a joy to visit even when productions vary in quality. A recent stay (August 3-7) started iffily but quickly took on substance and allure. “La fille du regiment” and “Rigoletto” both utilized junk heap-style sets that made one’s eyes seek […]

Late Autumn Voices

Late Autumn Voices

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Juilliard Opera did very well by the good — not great — Rossini comedy “Il Turco in Italia” on November 19. Speranza Scappucci, conducting and playing continuo, guaranteed a scintillating, stylish performance for the fine orchestra, though a few inevitable first night “accidents” obtruded. One hopes to hear much more of her […]

Martyrs and Tartars

Martyrs and Tartars

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | The first time I went to hear Handel’s oratorio “Theodora,” I assumed I would be seeing lurid tales of the Byzantine streetwalker turned empress. Hardly. This extremely sober, extremely beautiful work concentrates on — thank you, Amanda Wingfield! — Christian martyrs in ancient Antioch. The February 2 Carnegie audience seemed to appreciate […]

Ancient Airs and Dances

Ancient Airs and Dances

BY ELI JACOBSON | The Metropolitan Opera presented its first ever Handel opera, “Rinaldo,” in 1983. Five years later, it got around to his most popular opera, “Giulio Cesare,” in a John Copley production that originated at the English National Opera. This April, the Met unveiled its second production of “Giulio Cesare” — also a British […]

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 […]