Tag Archive: opera

The United Solo Theatre Festival 2015: Two Reviews and an Exhortation

Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet

The sixth United Solo Theater Festival has already been underway for over three weeks, but it will continue on up to November 22, offering an even greater wealth and variety of stage work than its predecessors. When its founder and artistic director, Omar Sangare, first considered the name, I was sceptical, but I’m happy to say that I’ve been proved wrong many times over. The name actually describes the nature of the festival to perfection, for every autumn, Dr. Sangare and his team unite the world of solo theater, bringing together over 150 fiercely independent actors, playwrights, directors, and other theater workers at Theatre Row from Canada, Australia, Ireland, the UK, Poland, Romania, all over the United State, and other countries.

Petition Madness in the Art World…SECOND REVISION! More Petitions and a Modest Proposal…

A cruise ship enters the Giudecca. Photo © 2011 Michael Miller.

Since the Mona Lisa affair was reported, other petitions and protests have emerged. Earlier this month (September 17) the protests agains the huge cruise ships that pass through the lagoon in Venice were renewed with vigor. The invaluable Tomaso Montanari has organized a petition against the privatization of the Brera in Milan. At the beginning of the month, in the United States, the New York Times demoted Allan Kozinn, one of its more intelligent music critics, who has been writing for them since 1977 and a staff member since 1991. He is now a “general cultural reporter.” Norman Lebrecht, who announced the bad news, received an avalanche of mostly angry and disgusted comments. Petitions were organized on Facebook, urging the Times to change their mind…but to no avail. Kozinn’s gone. For some years it has been hard to imagine that once upon a time Paul Griffiths wrote music criticism for The New York Times, and both he and Andrew Porter for The New Yorker.

Women on the Verge 2012: Three Mono-operas about Women Unhappy in Love – Two by Pasatieri and La Voix humaine by Poulenc after Cocteau, including Kala Maxym and Roza Tulyaganova

Women on the Verge 2012 Opera Manhattan presents a special Valentine’s Day production, Women on the Verge, all about women unhappy in love. The centerpiece of the production will be Poulenc’s one-act monodrama for soprano, La Voix Humaine, which hasn’t been…
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Lincoln Center Festival 2011: Ballet, Bruckner, Brook, Druid, Merce, Ruders, Shakespeare…

This year the Lincoln Center Festival will be longer and richer than ever. It will offer 116 performances by ensembles and artists from some 20 countries, and will include 6 World, North American, U.S., and New York premieres unfolding in…
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Mozart’s Idomeneo at the English National Opera

Virtue rampant. It’s something of a drawback when an opera has no characters, but this wasn’t always so. At the height of the 18th century’s classical style, an emblem would suffice, or a slightly animated statue. In Mozart’s Idomeneo something like the ideal is achieved. No one is really flesh and blood but rather personified virtues: Nobility caught between Filial Devotion and conflicted love from Chaste Constancy and Heartfelt Passion. Or as the playbill has it, Idomeneo, king of Crete, is trapped by a vow to Poseidon to sacrifice his son, Idamante, while two women pine longingly, Ilia, a captured princess of Troy, and the infamous Electra, daughter of Agamemnon. These pawns on the Greek chessboard were available to any dramatist or poet of Mozart’s day, to be shuffled through the paces of opera seria, the musical equivalent of high tragedy.

In Praise of Herbert von Karajan, with a Selective Critical Discography

My immediate reaction to Michael Miller’s commentary on the Karajan centenary [Oh no! He’s not back again, is he? – May 2, 2008] was rather choleric, but I’ve settled down a bit since then and can write this from a relatively balanced perspective.

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