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Warm Voices for Cold Spring Nights   

Warm Voices for Cold Spring Nights   

BY ELI JACOBSON | It seems that every year the Metropolitan Opera schedules a short revival of a difficult 20th century opera and it turns out to be one of the season highlights.  This season was bookended by two such revivals — a superb “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” in November and the sensational return of Stravinsky’s […]

The French Connection

The French Connection

BY ELI JACOBSON | French opera has become something of a stepchild in the international operatic repertoire — it doesn’t always get the love and attention it needs even in Paris. Its specialists are few and far between, and the French style has become internationalized, losing character, delicacy, and perfume. The Metropolitan Opera, historically a major […]

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), […]

Master Singers — And, um, Others…

Master Singers — And, um, Others…

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | At 32, the Met’s “Boheme” staging is older than the opera’s six leading characters are meant to be. It soldiers on, the crassly over-busy Act II bringing cheers, while the lovely snowy Act III restores some depth and taste. Score and even staging make for a good first opera experience, and the […]

New Starts

New Starts

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | September brought good news to New York’s opera world. The American Opera Projects premiered a fine new work of unusual interest to the LGBT community, Laura Kaminsky’s “As One.” And the Metropolitan, after bruising labor negotiations, opened on time, with an uneven new staging of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” and a […]

Singing Psychotics from Vienna

Singing Psychotics from Vienna

BY ELI JACOBSON | As part of Carnegie Hall’s three-week “Vienna: City of Dreams” festival, the Vienna State Opera performed in concert two 20th century operas dealing with abnormal psychology. Richard Strauss’ “Salome” (1905) and Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck” (1925) were composed during the same period as Sigmund Freud’s pioneering studies of psychoanalysis, though their literary sources […]

High Drama Offstage and On at the Met

High Drama Offstage and On at the Met

BY ELI JACOBSON | At the opening of the Metropolitan Opera season, political drama attempted to upstage music drama. LGBT activists petitioned Peter Gelb and the Met to dedicate the September 23 gala opening night of gay composer Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” –– starring two Putin supporters, soprano Anna Netrebko and conductor Valery Gergiev –– […]