• In Transit on Broadway

    Charming New A Capella NY Musical

    By: c - Dec 11th, 2016

    The refreshing new a capella musical, In Transit, evokes commuters not only on the move but in transition. There are poingant thumbnails of eager millenials reaching for the brass ring underground in the naked city.

  • William Kentridge's Return of Ulysses

    The Father of Opera Celebrated

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 17th, 2016

    Claudio Monteverdi is considered the first major composer of an opera. The richness of his talent is on abundant display in William Kentridge’s direction of The Return of Ulysses.

  • Tanglewood 2017

    Expanded Role for Andris Nelsons Includes Sharing Film Night

    By: BSO - Nov 17th, 2016

    In his most significant commitment yet to Tanglewood, Andris Nelsons will lead both the opening and closing BSO concerts, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, and Beethoven Symphony No. 9; Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Kristine Opolais; an opera gala with Ms. Opolais and Dmitri Hvorostovsky performing excerpts from Simon Boccanegra, La traviata, and Eugene Onegin; the world premiere of John Williams’s Markings with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter; and the first-ever BSO and festival concert performance of the complete Das Rheingold, a tour de force milestone in the history of the festival.

  • Eastman Philharmonia at Alice Tully Hall

    Renée Fleming Sings Kevin Puts

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 16th, 2016

    The Eastman Philharmonia under the brilliant Neil Varon, performed Maurice Ravel, Kevin Puts and Serge Prokofiev at Alice Tully Hall.

  • Venetian Coronation at Lincoln Center

    Gabriele Conducted By Paul McCreesh

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 13th, 2016

    For a Venetian Coronation, the golden wood of Alice Tully Hall is lit around the stage by floor floodlights cast upwards. The 1595 Coronation ritual inducted Marino Grimani who would rule until his death in 1605. The Baroque style of the performance was delivered with clarity and beauty Challenges in playing period instruments with fewer vents and using the high larynx to produce tones of exquisite beauty were not apparent in the formal but easy movements of the groups.

  • Thomas Ades and the Boston Symphony Orchestra

    British Composer Begins Three Year Partnership with BSO

    By: David Bonetti - Nov 11th, 2016

    Young (45 years old) hotshot Thomas Ades is a triple threat: composer, conductor and pianist. In his first outing with the BSO as artistic partner he showcased each of those skills. The results were mostly good. Among the highlights was the local premiere of his "Totentanz," a major work by any standard.

  • Carnegie Hall's Invites Music in the Resnick Center

    Developing Performers and Listeners Alike

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 08th, 2016

    Carnegie Hall programs explore an individual's musicality. For those who are born with the musical gene, their basic instincts are led out into the beat and the song. For those who do not have the gene, music is brought inside and listeners made.

  • Xian Zhang, Maestra of the New Jersey Symphony

    Handel, Beethoven and Strauss at the Bergen PAC

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 04th, 2016

    The New Jersey Symphony tours the state, winter, summer and fall. Starting her inaugural season as Music Director, Xian Zhang was welcomed enthusiastically by residents of Englewood.

  • Bluebeard's Castle at the BSO

    Hungarian Rarity a Perfect Halloween Opera

    By: David Bonetti - Nov 03rd, 2016

    Bela Bartok is known for his folklore inspired spiky modernism, which he applied distinctively to orchestral and chamber works. "Bluebeard" is his only opera, and it is an awkward undramatic outlier in the repertory. Its lushly beautiful music, however, is a powerful reason why it is revived on occasion. The BSO under Charles Dutoit did it proud.

  • Carnegie Celebrates Steve Reich's 80th Birthday

    To Defy God or Not is the Big Question

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 02nd, 2016

    The year long birthday celebration for Steve Reich, our country's foremost composer, continues. At Carnegie Hall, we heard a Quartet from 2013 and the world premier of Pulse with the International Contemporary Ensemble. The evening was capped by Three Tales, a collaboration between Reich and his wife, Beryl Korot, a video artist. While Reich appears to be fit as a fiddle, these tributes to his decades might better be annual for all the pleasure they offer.

  • Jonathan Dove's Flight at Juilliard

    Operatic Enchantments Fly

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 21st, 2016

    Jonathan Dove's Flight is given a near perfect mounting this fall at the Juilliard School. Juilliard's neighbor across the way could take a page on opera production from the young artists whose talent and sensibility bodes well for the future of the opera form.

  • Boston Lyric Opera Does Turnage's Greek

    Retelling of Oedipus Rex OK's Incest

    By: David Bonetti - Nov 23rd, 2016

    Mark-Anthony Turnage created the kind of scandal the arts love when in 1988 he premiered his first opera "Greek." A punkish provocation, it set the hoary myth of Oedipus, he who killed his father and married his mother, in a declining Thatcherite Britain. In choosing it, the BLO, in a dynamic production, asks whether it is still relevant.

  • Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito

    Bedroom Drama in the Coliseum at MMS Opera Theater

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 09th, 2016

    Mozart's final opera was written in 18 days to celebrate the coronation of Leopold II as King of Bohemia. While it is often said that the opera is political, the hearts and minds of top political figures are central. It is hard to be evil. It is easier to be good if you have honest people around you. Simple, deep words are embedded in some of the most gorgeous music ever written. The Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater gives Mozart his full due.

  • MASS MoCA Announces Events

    Ladie's Choice for Winter

    By: Charles Giuliano - Dec 07th, 2016

    Sliding into the Holiday season followed by the dead of wintwr Mass MoCA is looking on the bright side. The North Adams based mega museum has posted a full schedule of enticing upcoming events. It's time to mark the calendar.

  • Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

    Pastiche of War and Peace

    By: Charles Giuliano - Dec 07th, 2016

    What started Off Broadway at Ars Nova, with three steps in between, has transferred to Broadway. Based on a 70 page slice of Tolstoy's War and Peace the explosively inovative Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 is the one to beat as best musical come awards season.

  • Boston Early Music Festival's Versailles

    Pastiche Composed for Apartments of Louis XIV

    By: David Bonetti - Dec 02nd, 2016

    Louis XIV was a great arts patron, but like most powerful men, he liked to be flattered. The two divertissements revived by the BEMF are sycophantic but charming to listen to and see. As usual, the BEMF forces excelled in a highly stylized production.

  • Isaac Mizrahi Narrates Peter and the Wolf

    John Heginbotham and Ensemble Signal Are Icing

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 05th, 2016

    Of course the costumes are terrific. Isaac Mizrahi, narrator and imaginer of this production, is a top flight designer. Each animal and human has a few eyecatching details. Prokofiev is always fabulous. All the elements come together in the Guggenheim's Works and Process Christmas celebration.

  • Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at Carnegie

    Semyon Bychkov Takes Us Beyond Words

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 02nd, 2016

    A twenty-five note chord indeed. But that’s how Detlov Glanert starts his composition Theatrum Bestiarum. The singing of a thousand birds, the howling of the storm, the lapping of waves and the crackling of the fire. We are in the midst of musical feeling at Carnegie Hall as Glanert crashes around us and Mahler follows. A thrilling evening of brass and drums.

  • First Night Saratoga 2017

    New Years Eve celebration of the Arts

    First Night Saratoga 2017
    By: Chris Buchanan - Dec 01st, 2016

    First Night is the most affordable, accessible, family-friendly, safe and exciting way to spend New Year's Eve in the region. On Saturday, December 31st join over 15,000 revelers as Saratoga Art’s presents one of the oldest and largest First Night celebrations in the country. Starting with the 5k roadrace at Skidmore College at 5:30pm, culminating with fireworks in Congress Park at midnight and packed full of live music, dance, comedy and magic in between, this event will be a highlight of your outgoing year.

  • yMusic Arrives at Carnegie

    Unusual Instrumental Mix Triumphs

    By: Susan Hall and Djurdja Vucinic - Dec 03rd, 2016

    If there is an argument for YouTube and the ever-expanding internet, it is made by this group of superb young musicians, classically-trained, impeccable artists who are open to anything.

  • Ivan Fischer Conducts New York Philharmonic

    Musical Chairs Play Beethoven and Dvorak

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 27th, 2016

    Conductor Iván Fischer led the New York Philharmonic in a startling program, not because Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major or Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony in G Major are unfamiliar. Yet they sounded particularly new and fresh in this performance. Fischer characteristically releases phrases in a swell and dares to experiment with dynamic extremes, particularly in the Beethoven, where both the soloist and the orchestra often whisper.

  • Richard Tucker Gala at Carnegie Hall

    Opera's All Stars Gather

    By: Susan Hall and Susan Seidenstein - Oct 31st, 2016

    The Richard Tucker Gala began about forty years ago to celebrate the career of a tenor who made his mark around the world, moving from Synagogue to opera stage and back. Today, the annual prize is awarded to deserving young talent who often end at the top of the opera world. Tonight's awardee, Tamara Wilson, shows all the promise of a huge career.

  • Kallor Opera, The Tell Tale Heart

    Tales from the Crypt

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 27th, 2016

    The ironic title of the website for the presentations at the Crypt of the Chutch of the Intercession in New York is 'death of classical.' Surely if classical music is to survive during the 21st century it will be in performances that are taken out to its audience in venues which are unique and intimate. Andrew Ousley, who conceived the Crypt Sessions, has a deep sense of what works in the venue, buried in the beautiful arches of a church in New York. The Tell Tale Heart was his Halloween, or perhaps All Saints Day, offering.

  • Ian Bostridge, Thomas Adès, Winterreise

    Schubert Set in Carnegie Hall

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 24th, 2016

    Ian Bostridge not only admits that he has been obsessed for years by Winterreise, but he has written a superb book on the piece and obsession. The wonderful tenor has so absorbed the music and poetry that he seems to step behind the performance and let this remarkable work shine. Thomas Adès constantly reveals Schubert at the piano.

  • Metropolitan Opera's Controversial Opening

    Cast in Trenchcoats Shine in Tristan and Isolde

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 27th, 2016

    Never has the disconnect between glorious singing and a production been so clear. To put Tristan and Isolde in trenchcoats isn't even a starter in a Wagner opera. Stuart Skelton, Nina Stemme, Rene Pape, Ekaterina Gubanova and Evgeny Nitikin are all superb in their roles. It is an insult to put such world class singers on this set. Do not be tempted by the HD. Listen on the radio where you can enjoy the opera's glories.

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