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Posts Tagged ‘Susan Graham’

Thumbnail : Birthday Bashes Abound in the Big Apple: Garrison Keillor at 70 and Barbara Cook at 85

Birthday Bashes Abound in the Big Apple: Garrison Keillor at 70 and Barbara Cook at 85

It isn’t often that two luminaries of the entertainment world publicly mark major milestones in the same week and city. Yet such was the case last week in New York: on Tuesday, Garrison Keillor reflected upon seven decades of life in a special appearance with the New York Philharmonic, and on Thursday, Barbara Cook celebrated her eighty-fifth birthday in Carnegie Hall, exactly one week in anticipation of the actual day.

Thumbnail : Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride at the Met with Susan Graham and Plácido Domingo

Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride at the Met with Susan Graham and Plácido Domingo

What a splendid idea to revive Gluck’s final masterpiece, Iphigénie en Tauride, on two great stages at opposite ends of the continent. Gluck, the great reformer, has been too long little more than a chapter — or, worse — a section of a chapter in music history books, and recent attempts to bring his works to life on 21st century stages are for the most part commendable, whether they succeed or not, although I did sense a touch of cynicism in the excruciatingly fashionable Orphée of Mark Morris and Isaac Mizrahi — and a fashion statement (or ad) is not what we want in these unmitigatedly dignified works.

Thumbnail : Susan Graham Sings French Songs at Cadogan Hall

Susan Graham Sings French Songs at Cadogan Hall

Matinee musicale. On a sunny day off Sloane Square, it was a perfect idea to skip lunch and listen instead to an hour of French songs. The singer was Susan Graham, the acclaimed Texas-born mezzo who has made a speciality of this repertoire, like Frederica von Stade before her. Ever since the Twenties, when young expatriates travelled to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger, there’s been a preference in New York and Boston, now rather slim, for chansons over lieder. Graham has made a recording of songs by Ned Rorem, who duplicates the ephemeral delicacy and finely etched sophistication found in Ravel, Poulenc, and Debussy. The virtues of the French art song are either delectable or debatable, depending on your orientation. Paris or Vienna? I lean so far to the latter that I hesitated about going to hear Graham’s recital, but I knew her singing would be very accomplished, so I took my seat in the front row at Cadogan Hall.

Thumbnail : Don Giovanni at the Met x 2

Don Giovanni at the Met x 2

Metropolitan Opera House Don Giovanni Mozart-Da Ponte Conductor – Louis Langrée Continuo: Dennis Giauque, Harpsichord David Heiss, Cello Mandolin Solo: Joyce Rasmussen Balint Production – Marthe Keller Set Designer – Michael Yeargan Costume Designer – Christine Rabot-Pinson Lighting Designer – Jean Kalman Choreographer – Blanca Li Stage Director – Gina Lapinski October 4, 2008 Don […]

Thumbnail : Hector Berlioz, La Damnation de Faust, Metropolitan Opera, November 7, 2008

Hector Berlioz, La Damnation de Faust, Metropolitan Opera, November 7, 2008

Faust – Marcello Giordani Marguerite – Susan Graham Méphistophélès – John Relyea Brander – Patrick Carfizzi Conductor – James Levine Production – Robert Lepage [Debut] Associate Director – Neilson Vignola [Debut] Set Designer – Carl Fillion.[Debut] Costume Designer – Karin Erskine [Debut] Lighting Designer – Sonoyo Nishikawa [Debut] Interactive Video Designer – Holger Förterer [Debut] […]

  • A Singer’s Notes 95: The Henry Plays at Shakespeare and Company
    Jonathan Epstein undertook a courageous and largely successful project making an evening’s performance out of the Henry plays. I could have used a little more Doll Tearsheet and a little less Ancient Pistol, but I understand choices have to be made. The narrative was clear throughout, and there were some surprising and gently humorous touches […]
    Keith Kibler
  • A Singer’s Notes 94: Local Excellence… and a Rare Unamplified Performance of a Broadway Musical!
    Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre once again filled its house and earned rave applause for its production of Gianni Schicchi, by Giacomo Puccini. This opera which seems so straight out and comfortable is actually a very hard score, both vocally and orchestrally. It could fairly be called the most intricate of Puccini’s compositions. This is why it […]
    Keith Kibler
  • A Singer’s Notes 93: Denève, the TMC Orchestra, and Berlioz; McGegan and Handel; Bernstein’s Candide at Tanglewood
    The excellent Stephane Denève chose two works of Hector Berlioz for his TMCO concert. Wholly remarkable was a performance of Les Nuits d'Été. The maestro gave these songs a sound I've never heard before. It was ravishingly quiet to begin with, not unlike the nearly silent playing Simon Rattle can achieve in his Mahler performances. […]
    Keith Kibler
  • Murder Myth Married to Music—Lizzie Borden Wields her Axe at Tanglewood
    In Jack Beeson and Kenward Elmslie’s 1965 retelling, Lizzie Borden is unequivocally presented the murderer of her step-mother and father; in the opening moments, as the orchestra starts up with a scream of outrage, Lizzie runs onstage with an axe and plants it firmly in the middle of the family table. It remains there for […]
    Larry Wallach