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“Norma” Rises from the Ashes

“Norma” Rises from the Ashes

BY ELI JACOBSON | Vincenzo Bellini’s “Norma” is considered the summit of bel canto, a masterpiece that inspired Wagner and Schopenhauer. Felice Romani’s libretto and Bellini’s music elevate the character of Norma to profound tragedy, the Medea-like druid priestess’ vengeful fury transformed into sublime self-sacrifice in the opera’s finale. Too often, however, hacks are put in […]

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 […]

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 […]