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*+-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.
*+-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.
*+-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.
*+-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 […]
*+-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] […]