• Dudamel Conducts LA Philharmonic

    Roberto Bolle and ABT Dancers Add to Musical Thrills

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 28th, 2015

    When Frank Gehry was asked to design Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, he made one condition: that Yasuhita Toyota be hired as the acoustician. He was not going to build a hall for musical performance that did not have fabulous acoustics. Disney Hall is an acoustical dream and its warm, intimate seating encircling the musicians and performers is mirrored perfectly by real surround sound. Under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil shines.

  • Hibla Gerzmava Seduces at Carnegie Hall

    The Soprano from Abkhazia

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 09th, 2015

    Hibla Gerzmava floats notes as though they made an effortless journey from her heart into the surrounding Hall in which she performs. Glamorous and a consummate actress, all the focus is on the gorgeous music that she lofts. It was a special evening at Carnegie Hall in which we got a taste of her perfection as Desdemona in Otello.

  • Dizzy

    Grroving High with a Bahai

    By: Charles Giuliano - Oct 08th, 2015

    I named by parakeet Dizzy Gillespie. Hanging with iconic hipster in a cruise of Boston Harbor with arts elder Elma Lewis.

  • Laurie Anderson's Habeas Corpus

    Project with Mohammed El Gharani in New York

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 05th, 2015

    As globalization brings us closer together, frequent reminders of the horrors we perpetrate on each other are invaluable. A young man who was 14 when he was arrested, tortured and locked up in Guantanamo Bay reminds us that no one is exempt. Laurie Anderson offers an ineffably moving picture in collaboration with Saudi-born Mohammed El Gharani. The installation was recently on view at the Park Avenue Armory in New York.

  • In Your Arms at Old Globe

    World Premiere of Musical in San Diego

    By: Jack Lyons - Oct 03rd, 2015

    “In Your Arms” is the brain-child of brilliant choreographer/director Christopher Gattelli and Broadway producer Jennifer Manocherian. It is having its world premiere at Old Globe in San Diego.

  • Tennessee Williams Cabaret

    Armando Arrocha and Colette Simple

    By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 30th, 2015

    During the recent Provinctetown Tennessee Williams Festival we attended two performances of cabaret, based on works of Williams at the Crown and Anchor. The two experiences comprised a study in contrast with the best and worst of the tenth annual festival.

  • Metropolitan Opera Season Opens

    Aleksandrs Antonenko a Brilliant Otello

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 21st, 2015

    Otello is one of the greatest operas of Giuseppe Verdi. In the 2011 season, Riccardo Muti mounted a concert performance which was almost universally heralded as the event of the season. Singing the title role under the Maestro was Aleksandrs Antonenko, who delivered a performance of technical perfection and rich emotion. Antonenko has not forgotten the lessons he learned from Muti, and has, in fact, built on them. His performance at the Metropolitan Opera is wrenching.

  • Andy, the Popera by Heath Allen and Dan Visconti

    Opera Philadelphia and The Bearded Ladies Collaborate

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 19th, 2015

    Why not create opera in a warehouse like Andy Warhol's Factory? Take an over-the-top cast of characters familiar to opera goers, mash up classic and pop music, and fly? Why not? That's just what Opera Philadelphia and an intriguing cabaret group The Bearded Ladies have done. It is a wonderful opera.

  • Fresh Grass Festival 2015

    September 18-20 at MASS MoCA

    Fresh Grass 2014
    By: Philip S. Kampe - Sep 14th, 2015

    Non-stop bluegrass related music will take over North Adams Massachusetts this upcoming weekend. The Fresh Grass 2015 version invades the Berkshires for what should be a wonderful music oriented weekend.

  • Old Blue Eyes

    Singer for the Dons

    By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 11th, 2015

    By the time Sinatra played the Music Hall in Boston there wasn't much left of The Voice. But he had the chops to sell a song long after the pipes had rusted. Up close and personal I had choice seats in a special section of New England mafia royalty.

  • Woodstock

    Back Stage Perks

    By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 08th, 2015

    Ditching the car with Joey and Amber we hiked to Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York. There were a half million sitting through mud and rain at Woodstock. The fences came down but I had press credentials. We made our way back stage.

  • Susan Hall

    Phantoms of the Opera

    By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 07th, 2015

    During a holiday visit to New York critic Susan Hall treated me to nose bleed seats at the Met for Aida.

  • Connick Romps at Tanglewood

    Rips the Roof Off the Shed Ending Season

    By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 05th, 2015

    The last time Harry Connick, Jr. performed at Tanglewood there was a monsoon. Last night was a picture perfect evening as Connick and his nine piece band tore the roof off of the shed in a barn burner to close out the season during Labor Day weekend.

  • Harry Connick, Jr. at Tanglewood

    Returns to Berkshires Septrember 4

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Sep 03rd, 2015

    After a two year hiatus, Harry Connick, Jr returns to the stage at Tanglewood for a much anticipated Labor Day show on Friday evening, September 4th. Connick is a crowd favorite that hails from the 'Crescent City' (New Orleans).

  • NY Fringe 2015: Ideas Not Theories

    Boston's Reynaliz Herrera Finds the Beat Everywhere

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 23rd, 2015

    In nooks and crannies all over New York, talent is busting out in the 19th New York International Fringe Festival. Herrera is a percussionist who finds the beat wherever she is. In her entrancing concept of a kid in a warehouse music factory, buckets and bikes found lying on the floor offer opportunities for novel and instant sounds. They are even better than chocolate.

  • Cirque de la Symphonie at Tanglewood

    Three Rings for Pops

    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 23rd, 2015

    The circus came to town joining the Pops for perhaps the most fun and entertaining evening of summer at Tanglewood.

  • Mostly Mozart Presents Emerging Talent

    Cape Cod Chamber Music, Met Opera Baritone Plus Bard Pianist

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 18th, 2015

    Mostly Mozart. adding a soupçon of musical interest for its audiences and a splendid opportunity for rising young talent to perform in important venues, offers a concert pre-concert, in which you might even hear Emmanuel Ax. Avery FIsher Hall, configured for the Festival, is an acoustically satisfying, intimate experience.

  • Tanglewood Update

    BSO Departs Early to Launch European Tour

    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 18th, 2015

    By all accounts from the audience to musicians and critics the BSO has never sounded better than under its young artistic director Andris Nelsons. The BSO has departed Tanglewood earlier than usual to start a European tour on August 22 through September 5. The BSO opens its fall season in October.

  • BLO's "La Boheme" Reset in '68 Paris

    Period Change Does Not Diminish an Iconic Opera

    By: David Bonetti - Oct 09th, 2015

    We always love bohemians - or at least we used to - but most of us wouldn't want to live the lives of poverty and disease they endured for our entire lives. The classic story of the poet Rodolfo and the doomed seamstress Mimi has jerked tears from audiences since its premiere in 1896. The BLO's production hit all the necessary points without reaching the highest peaks.

  • Nezet Seguin, Musician of the Year, Conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra

    Lofting a Trifecta at Carnegie Hall

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 14th, 2015

    The Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin is well served by Carnegie Hall. Carnegie announced that this concert would be recorded and later available worldwide. Watch for it. An extraordinary evening of music-making was offered. It would be disingenuous not to mention succession at the Metropolitan Opera. When James Levine cancelled conducting an important production of one of 'his' operas, Nézet-Séguin's name was the first to emerge as the new music director.

  • No Beast So Fierce Adapts Richard III

    Chicago's Oracle Productions

    By: Nancy S. Bishop - Oct 14th, 2015

    The number of characters played by the cast of eight has by necessity been reduced to 14 from the 35 to 40 in Shakespeare's version. Cramming all of Richard III into 90 minutes means eliminating some nuances and character motivations.

  • Buddy and Junior

    Black and Blue on Saturday Night

    By: Charles Giuliano - Nov 27th, 2015

    Blues men Buddy Guy and Junior Wells blew in from the windy city for a week at Sandy's in Beverly. There was a slow start early in the week but they tore the roof off on Saturday night.

  • Tony Winner Fun Home

    Poignantly In and Out of the Closet

    By: Charles Giuliano - Nov 25th, 2015

    As the closeted father Bruce, Michael Cerveris won a Tony as the lead in the compelling musical Fun House. The story of his suicide and his coming out in small town Pennsylvania is narrated his his forty something lesbian daughter Alison. She is portrayed at thre age levels by Beth Malone, Emily Skeggs and as young Alison the simply adorable Gabriella Pizzolo.

  • The Arts in Cuba

    Music for Breakfast and Studio Visits

    By: Nancy Bishop - Nov 22nd, 2015

    While in Cienfuegos, we had some interesting musical entertainment. After walking around the square, we climbed several flights of stairs to hear a special concert by the Choir of Cienfuegos, a chorus of about 24 local men and women, who performed a concert of Cuban and international songs and show tunes. One of them, incongruously, was the American folk song, “Shenandoah.”

  • Hamilton Hip-Hops on Broadway

    Game Changing Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda

    By: Charles Giuliano - Nov 22nd, 2015

    Hamilton, the hip-hop opera by Lin-Manuel Miranda is the most refreshing, titubating, brilliant and exciting musical to grace Broadway in decades. It follows his earlier, award winning "In the Heights." Now in his mid thirties Miranda is an immense talent to be reckoned with for years to come. He is a force for change in American culture. This hit show is sure to run for years on Broadway followed by a national tour and tons of regional productions. Hamilton is the greatest invention since sliced bread.

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