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Gounod, Rameau, and Strauss

Gounod, Rameau, and Strauss

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Bartlett Sher’s supernumerary-loaded, sleepy staging of  “Roméo et Juliette” sank fairly perilously April 23 under the indiscriminate, pace-deadening conducting of Plácido Domingo. There are reasons audiences want to hear Domingo’s compromised but still firm, energetic singing, but his conducting has always at best mediocre — an abuse of his  industry influence […]

Musical Conflicts in the Middle East

Musical Conflicts in the Middle East

BY ELI JACOBSON | As far back as Biblical times, the Middle East region has been a cauldron of tribal warfare and power struggles. These conflicts also figured in the historical background behind the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays we celebrate this month. Opera also has its share of Mideast conflicts, as witnessed on local opera stages […]

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 […]

Late Winter Voices

Late Winter Voices

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | February 21 witnessed a bittersweet occasion at City Center –– fabulous to see, but with acoustics often jarringly opaque. The valiant New York City Opera Orchestra under the versatile George Manahan paid tribute to the late lamented “people’s opera” with a 70th anniversary concert as a benefit for Local 802’s Musician’s Emergency […]