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  • Chris Botti at Tanglewood

    Three Ring Circus

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jun 25th, 2016

    When he plays it straight Chris Botti is among the elite trumpet players of his generation. There is no question of his musicianship. But at times his performance at Tanglewood was way to Vegas. It seemed more Wayne Newton than Miles Davis. This jarred with hearing a superb rhythm section which was cut loose only occasionally.

  • Robertson Leads Majestic NYPHil

    Alan Baer, Tuba, Superb in John Wiliams

    By: Susan Hall - May 29th, 2016

    Music of all genres and spirits is overflowing the halls of David Geffen Hall and embracing the citizens of New York. Gustav Holst's The Planets brought amateur astronomers to Lincoln Center's Plaza for a viewing of Jupiter and its moons after we had heard the composer's interpretation. Wow!

  • The Met Orchestra at Carnegie

    Christine Goerke Is the Go-To Soprano

    By: Susan Hall - May 26th, 2016

    James Levine is gloriously winding down his tenure as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera. The man who brought us the full Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera may have aged, but he is blossoming still and the stage of Carnegie Hall is the perfect venue to display his monumental talents.

  • Sondheim on Sondheim as Putting It Together

    Stage Door Theatre in South Florida

    By: Aaron Krause - May 24th, 2016

    Unlike in another Sondheim revue, “Side by Side by Sondheim,” has no narrator to link the songs. Rather, a dramatic framework exists in which two couples are attending a cocktail party at an upscale residence. This allows the characters to sing nearly 30 Sondheim songs outside the context for which he composed/or wrote the lyrics.

  • World Premiere Noir Musical Thriller Hollywood

    By Tony Winners Joe Di Pietro and Christopher Ashley at La Jolla Playhouse

    By: Jack Lyons - May 23rd, 2016

    La Jolla Playhouse has the best track record of any West Coast theatre when it comes to sending their original theatrical productions to Broadway (over 30 of them to date). Their 2008 musical production “Memphis”, written by Joe Di Pietro and directed by Christopher Ashley went on to Broadway winning a 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical. “Hollywood”, again written by Di Pietro, and helmed by Ashley, is looking to pull off a Tony Award-winning ‘Daily Double’ coup.

  • NY Philharmonic Performs Chaplin's City Lights

    Classic Movie with Superb Score

    By: Susan Hall - May 19th, 2016

    Alan Gilbert, Music Director of the New York Philharmonic has an uncanny knack for programming. Extending the ideas of where music does and does not belong in the classic/classical repertoire and how it should be produced. He has brought us semi-staged operas, adventuresome new music and live performance of film scores that were written to be heard live while the film is screened. City Lights, quintessential Chaplin, was accompanied by Chaplin's own score, played by the Philharmonic. The score had been restored and reconstructed by the conductor, Timothy Brock.

  • Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

    Road Company at Florida's Broward Center for the Performing Arts

    King
    By: Aaron Krause - May 12th, 2016

    If the audience at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts’ Au-Rene Theater was any indication, people pull for King not just because of her music. They want to see her succeed in this bio-musical. She comes across as an ambitious, yet humble, talented, yet insecure underdog.

  • Mannes Produces Adamo's Little Women

    Joseph Colaneri Conducts

    By: Susan Hall - May 07th, 2016

    Little Women is Mark Adamo's first opera, and its spirited presentation of the Marsh family of Concord captures perfectly the struggle of a young woman to move from the warmth and support of her family home into the world of a woman. Simone de Beauvoir loved this book, as has the feminist community. Little Women seemed a perfect choice for Mannes, and composer Adamo, taking bows and hugging the cast, seemed to agree.

  • Eve Queler Reprises Classic Parisina

    Angela Meade Thrills in Donizetti

    By: Susan Hall - May 05th, 2016

    Donizetti wrote this opera on an unusually tight schedule. Whether its differences from his other work are deliberate or accidental we will never know. The catchy arias we associate with the composer are missing, but the music is still delightful. Eve Queler introduced the opera in 1974 and reprised it at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater. A remarkable evening.

  • Mocktoberfest Features the Polka Brothers

    Annual Fundraiser Berkshire Country Day School on May 7th

    May 7th
    By: Philip S. Kampe & Maria Reveley - May 03rd, 2016

    If you missed Octoberfest, you will have a second chance this Saturday, May 7th. Berkshire Country Day School will hold its annual Mocktoberfest fundraiser at 6:45pm. Auction items include photographer, Gregory Crewdson's artist proof and a trip to attend Octoberfest in Munich.

  • Utah Symphony Celebrates at Carnegie Hall

    Thierry Fischer Conducted 75th Anniversary Performance

    Utah
    By: Djurdjija Vucinic - May 02nd, 2016

    The Utah Symphony under Thierry Fischer gave an exciting and moving evening of music in celebration of their 75th anniversary. The Utah Symphony Orchestra was built by promoting 20th century American and European music. This priority was established by Maurice Abravael, the conductor who led the orchestra for 30 years. He retired to work at Tanglewood for another 10 years.

  • Master Voices Presents Dido and Aeneas

    Kelli O'Hara and Victoria Clark Star

    Dido
    By: Susan Hall - Apr 29th, 2016

    Kelli O'Hara can sport a delightful, rich opera voice and Victoria Clark, looking like a combination of Lynn Redgrave and Camilla Parker Bowles camps it up as a Sorceress bent on doing evil. A new prologue by Michael John LaChiusa has chorus members collapsing and hints of history being made.

  • Marsalis Marches and Gilbert Honors with Brahms

    A Dirge for Kurt Mazur

    By: Susan Hall - May 31st, 2016

    The annual New York Philharmonic concert at St. John the Divine in New York was started a quarter century ago just as Kurt Mazur took the helm of the orchestra. The conductor was honored today in a wonderful New Orleans Funeral March led down the long aisle of the Cathedral by Wynton Marsalis and also a performance of Brahms' Second Symphony led by Alan Gilbert.

  • Yannick Nézet-Séguin Appointed by Met Opera

    Questions Remain about Gelb's Control

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 02nd, 2016

    Nézet-Séguin, the music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra where he will continue, assumes the role at the Met Opera in the 2020-21 season. He is a wonderful conductor of opera. What remains to be seen is Peter Gelb's role as "artistic director" of the opera company. Many first-rate conductors have not accepted the role because Gelb has insisted on control. The Board may not allow Gelb to continue to assert himself in artistic matters.

  • Brian Wilson Plays 'Pet Sounds'

    50 Years After Its Release

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Jun 20th, 2016

    Fifty years after the release of 'Pet Sounds', Brian Wilson and his band played the album in its entirety. The music sizzled during a scorching afternoon at Tanglewood.

  • Dollywood Comes to Tanglewood

    Dolly Parton Debuts at Tanglewood

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Jun 19th, 2016

    Dolly Parton brought her act to Koussevitzky Hall on June 17th. And what an act it was.

  • Brian Wilson plays Pet Sounds at Tanglewood on Sunday, June 19th

    The 50th Anniversary

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Jun 15th, 2016

    Brian Wilson will perform for the first time at Koussevitzky Hall on the grounds of Tanglewood on Sunday, June 19th at 2:30pm

  • What's Next for Hamilton Winners

    From Broadway Sensation to Years on the Road

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jun 14th, 2016

    At about $150 each my pal and BFA contributor, Jack Lyons, managed to get a few "cheap seats" for the Broadway smash Hamilton. We even got to go back stage and chat with now Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr. Back in November I asked him "what's next." It was a bit premature but all of the original contracts expire this summer. Its creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, has already announced plans to leave. The show will continue indefinitly on Broadway while several touring companies are launched.

  • Tanglewood Opens With Dolly Parton

    Jolene in the Berkshires on June 17

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Jun 11th, 2016

    Legendary country star, Dolly Parton, makes her Tanglewood debut on June 17th at 7pm in the Koussevitzky Music Shed.

  • Former WBCN DJ Mark Parenteau at 66

    Last Years Marred by Scandal and Illness

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jun 09th, 2016

    During a golden age when WBCN was the Rock of Boston Mark Perenteau was a larger than life presence. A mega watt presence was the catalyst for both fame and fortune as well as scandal and demise. He died from complications following surgery at 66.

  • Hershey Felder Gives Us Irving Berlin

    Felder a Masterful Man for All Seasons

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 08th, 2016

    Hershey Felder has made a career of creating the great musicians of the past three centuries. His Irving Berlin is touching, witty and very American.

  • Helmut Lachenmann's The Little Match Girl

    Cutting Edge Opera at Spoleto Festival in Charleston

    By: Sandy Katz - Jun 07th, 2016

    Cramped into nose bleed seats it was excruciating to endure the experimental opera The Little Match Girl by Helmut Lachenmann. It was a presentation of the prestigious annual Spoleto Festival USA which is currently enjoying its 40th season in Charleston, South Carolina.

  • Alan Gilbert Untempered at the Met Museum

    Pekka Kuusisto and Alan Gilbert Groove on Ligeti

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 05th, 2016

    Pekka Kuusisto took on the challenging Ligeti violin concerto with gusto, humor, and a quiet modesty. This was an unusual, and unusually effective combination of qualities, especially in view of the pick he took to the violin to make it into a guitar, and his beautiful whistling. David Fulmer conducted like a poet of music. John Zorn in the audience appreciated the performance of his work by the Mivos Quartet. It was another brilliant program put on by Alan Gilbert, who credits cellist Jay Chambers with suggesting Ligeti and his influence.

  • Gerald Barry's The Importance of Being Earnest

    Opera at Lincoln Center's Great Performers

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 04th, 2016

    It's observed that great operas are often based on weak plays. Not so the new opera by Gerald Barry. While Barry cut about two-thirds of Oscar Wilde's perfect play, the spirit remains. The result is more like composers taking up Beaumarchais than Johm Luther Long..

  • Annual Piccolo Spoleto Festival

    Fever Was Red Hot in Charleston

    By: Sandy Katz - Jun 03rd, 2016

    Piccolo Spoleto Festival is officially the outreach arm of Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina. This year marks the fortieth anniversary of Spoleto Festival USA, and thirty-eighth year of Piccolo Spoleto.

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