• Marriage of Figaro at the Metropolltan Opera

    The Help Strikes Back

    By: Paul J. Pelkonen - Dec 16th, 2017

    As Mozart's most popular romantic comedy, Le Nozze di Figaro is more than just the story of a crazy household in Spain getting ready for two of its servants to get hitched. Based on what was (at the time) a controversial play by Pierre de Beaumarchais, Figaro is an opera that makes the listener confront ideas of social justice and shouts of the need for equality between different classes within the microcosm of Aguas Frescas, the Almaviva estate. Looking at the opera in this way, the Met's current revival of the company's 2014 production could not be better timed.

  • Britten's Carols at St. Thomas Church

    Briget Kibbey on a Celestrial Harp

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 16th, 2017

    St. Thomas Church at 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City is known for its music. Its organ has recently been replaced, but was not called upon for a beautiful concert featuring Benjamin Britten’s Carols. Accompaniment was provided by a harp. Never has an instrument been displayed so fully in its glory as it was by Briget Kibbey. The composer wrote for the harp and specifically noted tat the interlude should not be played if a piano was used.

  • National Chorale Hosts 50th Messiah Sing

    16 Prominent Conductors Participate

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 17th, 2017

    National Chorale mounted its 50th Messiah sing in at David Geffen Hall. The chorus of thousands, one of the largest in the world, was led by sixteen difference conductors representing such institutions as West Point, St. Patrick's Cathedral, colleges and even high schools. Each conductor introduced the chorus s/he led, many directing us to pay particular attention at the conclusion.

  • Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival 2018

    Conflating Old and New in Becket

    By: Pillow - Dec 13th, 2017

    International companies will travel to Becket, Massachusetts, from Denmark, Israel, Belgium, Australia, France, Spain, and Scotland. Notably, representation from across the United States ranges from New York City, Minneapolis, and Houston to Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Chicago, among others.

  • MASS MoCA Update

    Winter/ Spring Programming

    By: MoCA - Dec 14th, 2017

    MASS MoCA heads into the winter/spring season with new works in the spotlight, on stage, and in the galleries. The season kicks off on January 20 with the museum’s annual Free Day, when MASS MoCA opens its galleries, free of charge, and activates its art with family-focused activities and performances throughout the day.

  • Horseshoe Crabs

    Dying Living Fossils

    By: Astrid Hiemer - Dec 13th, 2017

    An intimate photo-series about Horseshoe Crabs, washed ashore, and a short essay in poetry form highlight our wold-wide situation, known as 'Climate Change,' and its consequences.

  • Winter Shorts in Miami

    Seasonal Series of Short Plays

    By: Aaron Krause - Dec 16th, 2017

    The 2017 version of Winter Shorts in South Florida features a diverse group of plays which is a hallmark of this season's line-up of shows.

  • Candlelit Hancock Shaker Village

    A Holiday Celebration With The Shakers

    By: Maria Reveley - Dec 12th, 2017

    Hancock Shaker Village, near Pittsfield, Massachusetts, was decorated for the holidays during a late afternoon stroll with carolers, musicians and dressed-up staff from this timeless Shaker community. Drinks, Shaker Holiday carols and festive food was served as guests listened to Shaker stories and songs.

  • First Night Saratoga 2018

    Light Up the Night

    Joshua Lozoff: Life is Magic!
    By: Alix Jones - Dec 14th, 2017

    As one of the oldest and largest celebrations of its kind in the country, First Night Saratoga is the most affordable, accessible, safe and exciting way to spend New Year's Eve in New York's capital region. With over 170 different performances from 6pm to midnight, this event is great for everyone from kids to couples who want a fun night out on the town!

  • Billy and Me by Terry Teachout.

    World Premiere at Palm Beach Dramaworks

    By: Aaron Krause - Dec 10th, 2017

    An historical comic-drama about Tennessee Williams and William Inge receives admirable world premiere production in West Palm Beach. This engrossing memory play focuses on the little-known relationship between the two great playwrights. The play is a new work by Wall Street Journal Critic, Terry Teachout. His first play was Satchmo at the Waldorf which premiered at Shakespeare & Company in the Berkshires.

  • Eclipse Mill Winter Arts Festival

    Music and Poetry on December 13

    By: Charles Giuliano - Dec 04th, 2017

    All are invited to join a holiday celebration and launch of the Eclipse Mill Winter Arts Festival. A gala evening of music by Michelle Wiley, and poetry by Stephen Rifkin, will occur on Wednesday, December 13, starting at 7:30 pm, at the Eclipse Mill, 243 Union Street, in North Adams. A program of other events will be announced in the New Year.

  • American Symphony Orchestra's The Triumph of Art

    Botstein Delivers Grim but Worthy Music of the Eastern Bloc

    By: Paul J. Pelkonen - Dec 10th, 2017

    On Thursday night, Dr. Botstein directed his ASO forces in a long and compelling program titled The Triumph of Art at Alice Tully Hall. Its purpose: provide much needed exposure to composers whose careers largely took place on the shadow side of the Soviet empire. This concert featured two works by the Polish composer Grayna Bacewicz and important symphonies by Bohuslav Martin and Alfred Schnittke. All are worthy of inclusion by some future artistic director with ambition and taste.

  • Judging Wine At 40,000 Feet

    Sampling 600 Wines For TAP Airlines

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Dec 11th, 2017

    The tedious work of sampling six-hundred plus Portuguese wines for TAP airlines in-flight wine service was an involved project. There were ten wine tasters, seven from Portugal, two from Brazil, and myself from America . Wines were first sampled on the ground and then the top fifty were sampled in the air on a round trip flight from Lisbon to Prague.

  • Pay Attention To Israeli Wines

    Quality, Not Quantity Is The Focus

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Dec 12th, 2017

    Since Biblical times, wine has been produced in Israel. Originally for religious observances, but, now for consumers, who compose 85% of the market, with the United States, as the leading importer. Kosher wines are produced the same way as non-kosher wines. For that reason, consumers are looking at the wine for what it s, not because its Kosher. Six wines were sampled for this article.

  • Philip Glass is Reflected at Carnegie Hall

    Glass and Next Generation

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 09th, 2017

    American Composers Orchestra performs at Carnegie Hall each year. Their December 8 concert at Zankel Hall was the first to honor the holder of the Debs Composer’s Chair this season, Philip Glass. Glass was over forty when he was able to give up his day job. He has created a world in which young composers can compose full time much earlier in their careers. We heard two of his protégés and the master himself in an intriguing and moving program.

  • Something Rotten on Tour

    In Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre

    By: Jack Lyons - Dec 08th, 2017

    The story, of “Something Rotten”, in short, is set in 1590s England where playwright brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, sensationally played by Rob McClure and Josh Grisetti, respectfully, are desperate to write a hit play to pay their rent, keep food on the table, and pay back their theatre investors. But they’re stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rock-star known as Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, a self-indulgent, preening (Adam Pascal).

  • Participants a Panoply of Subjective Responses

    Playwrights Heed the Call

    By: Victor Cordell - Dec 09th, 2017

    The playwrights are a highly diverse group, and not surprisingly, so is the topic matter and the casting. By its nature, this format does not provide a continuous dramatic arc, but a number of small climaxes.

  • Cross That River at 59E59 Theaters

    Runaway Slaves Became Successful Cowboys

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 08th, 2017

    If you were a runaway slave in the mid 19th century, where did you go to find a new life? Cowboy seemed a good profession. It was far from the south and the new country opening up was not so sensitive to color. Cross That River at 59E59 Theaters looks at one cowboy's life through song and story.

  • "Almira," Handel's First Opera

    Reprised by Boston Early Music Festival

    By: David Bonetti - Dec 05th, 2017

    The 19 year old Handel inherited this ridiculous opera libretto when the composer assigned it abruptly left town. Ambitious to get out of Hamburg himself, he gave it better than it deserved, writing some gorgeous arias for his dueling pair of sopranos. A superb cast and expert orchestral playing made the opera a hit for the Boston Early Music Festival.

  • King Charles III

    The Man Who Would be King in Pasadena

    By: j - Dec 08th, 2017

    “King Charles III has some of the Shakespeare-like quality of the text that combines verse and modern vernacular, make this intriguing production directed by Michael Michetti, a provocative evening in the theatre that is resonating with audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

  • The Mad Ones at 59E59 Theaters

    A Contemporary Road Story

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 07th, 2017

    The Mad Ones takes its title from Jack Kerouac. It is a kind of prequel to On the Road and also the film Thelma and Louise.   Samantha is a high school senior who is ambivalent about following the path for which she has been prepped by her mother.

  • Edo de Waart Leads NY Philharmonic

    Emanuel Ax Piano Soloist

    By: Paul J. Pelkonen - Dec 05th, 2017

    A cancellation by a major international conductor is never an occasion for happiness. However, attendees at Thursday nights concert by the New York Philharmonic may have felt fortunate in that august orchestra's choice of substitute. Stepping in for the indisposed Christopher von Dohnányi, Dutch conductor Edo de Waart proved to be an able and welcome substitute.

  • Describe the Night at Atlantic Theater

    Rajiv Joseph on Persistence of Truth vs Lies

    By: Susan Hall and Rachel de Aragon - Dec 06th, 2017

    The playwright Rajiv Joseph, a Pulitzer Prize winning finalist and winner of Lortel and Obie Awards, arrives at the Atlantic Theater Company with his new work, Describe the Night. The play is almost three hours long, and whizzes by in jewel-like nuggets of high drama. Giovanna Sardelli, Joseph’s frequent collaborator, directs.

  • The Millionth Production of A Christmas Carol

    Deconstructing Holiday Theatre Tradition

    By: Victor Cordell - Dec 07th, 2017

    For those seeking an alternative to traditional holiday theater fare, Pear Theatre offers the world premiere of The Millionth Production of “A Christmas Carol.” A comic paean to all that is black box theater, the result offers much that will appeal to theater lovers, with a behind-the-scenes exposé about the people and processes involved in launching a production, without any real connection to Christmas.

  • Puff: Believe It or Not at Remy Bumppo Theatre

    World Premiere Translation by Ranjit Bolt

    By: Nancy Bishop - Dec 04th, 2017

    Puff is a world premiere translation by Ranjit Bolt of the original script by the prolific French playwright, Eugène Scribe, known for his complex plotting of the well-made play. With Nick Sandys’ capable direction, the actors keep who-knows-what-and-loves-whom-when mostly straight. It is a smart, funny poke in the eye of the contemporary affection for fake news and hype about nothing, set in an 1840s Parisian drawing room.

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