• Tanglewood Tickets On Sale

    Best Seats Available for 2015

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jan 23rd, 2015

    Yet again Tanglewood is committed to finding the balance between traditional classical music and evenings featuring popular artists with enough appeal to balance the books. The BSO base audience will embrace the new and youthful conductor Andris Nelsons in his limited appearances. Popular artists including James Taylor, Dianna Krall, and Sheryl Crow return. Idina Menzel and Huey Lewis will be featured in the Shed. The wild card and most interesting booking of the season will present the gonzo pairing of over the top Lady Gaga and the venerable octogenarian Tony Bennett.

  • Mozart's Sublime Abduction from the Seraglio

    Pforzheim Mounts a Charming Production

    By: Susan Hall - Jan 09th, 2015

    It is easy to see why young talent in Europe travels from small city to small city to sing and conduct opera. First rate production skills, beautiful theatres made to display the human voice, and audiences who appreciate the art form are everywhere to be found. This production of Mozart's first of the five late operas, and the only one written in German, met all of the formidable challenges.

  • Boston Baroque's Effervescent New Year's Concert

    Arias by Mozart and a Monodrama by his Contemporary Cimarosa

    By: David Bonetti - Jan 08th, 2015

    One of the best traditions of the holiday season is Boston Baroque's New Year's Concert. This year a highlight was a rare performance of Cimarosa's monodrama of a pompous conductor, but young singers Sara Heaton and Andrew Garland also sang Mozart with style and tonal beauty.

  • Joe Cocker Remembered

    Getting High with Help from Some Friends

    By: Charles Giuliano - Dec 22nd, 2014

    With arms flailing and legs in a pigeon toe stance the British rocker Joe Cocker was the most unique and remarkable stylist of his generation. Every ounce of this heart and soul was invested in a song.

  • Die Walküre (The Valkyries), Act III

    New England Conservatory Benefit an Evening in Valhalla

    By: David Bonetti - Dec 15th, 2014

    Jane Eaglen and Greer Grimsley with a student orchestra led by Robert Spano put on an incendiary performance of Act III of Wagner's "Die Walkure." The big question remains: when will Boston get a proper opera house?

  • Blues For Christmas - Part II

    Blues in the city.

    By: David Wilson - Dec 15th, 2014

    As Blues performers moved into urban areas, style and technique became more dominant, all too often at the expense of taste. Not so for these four grand albums that reflect many of the variations of the urban hybrids and pay tasteful homage to the adaptability and the complexity of the root forms.

  • Blues For Christmas - Part I

    Homage to Roots

    By: David Wilson - Dec 14th, 2014

    Here are four recent releases that honor the roots of the Blues. Each of them would make a worthy addition to the cd shelves of eclectic listeners of music and most Blues fans.

  • Macbeth at the Manhattan School of Music

    Bloch, Full-Blooded and Uninhibited

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 11th, 2014

    Is opera an intimate art form? Houses in Europe tend to be small or feel intimate. Yet they are just right. Certainly opera has felt right in New York this week with the brilliant, intimate production of El Gato con Botas by the Gotham Chamber Opera and now, as big as Macbeth, in an intimate theatre at the Manhattan School of Music.

  • Puss Kicks Up His Boot in Gotham

    Ginger Costa-Jackson, a Purring, Prescient Gato

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 07th, 2014

    All eyes are fixed on El Gato, as he virtually vibrates when his slender body is filled with song. Manipulated by three puppeteers, he is a slithering, prancing manipulator himself, entrancing as he bounds across the stage fixing the world to his vision. Puss in Boots is an old tale which holds two morals. One that dress and countenance can carry you far. Puss is a living example. He dons hat and cape and boots and becomes a courtier.

  • Two Pergolesi Comedies at BEMF

    Sparkling Cast and Expert Instrumentalists Ensure a Fun Time.

    By: David Bonetti - Dec 05th, 2014

    For seven years, the Boston Early Music Festival has put on short, semi-staged operas at the New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall. For this critic, they are a season highlight. Tragic operas by Italian, French and English composers have been featured. This year two Pergolesi comic intermezzi were a delight.

  • First Night Saratoga 2015

    A Family Friendly, Alcohol-free Event

    By: Chris Buchanan - Dec 05th, 2014

    See over 70 performing acts in 30 different venues and celebrate a New Year full of arts in Saratoga Springs, NY! First Night is an American cultural event that has a tradition dating back to 1975 in Boston. Today there are about 45 cities around the country who participate in this type of celebration, including in this area, Burlington, VT; Portsmouth, NH; North Hampton, MA; Hartford, CT; Saranac Lake, NY and St. Johnsbury, VT.

  • James Conlon Conducts a Brilliant Shostakovich

    Lady Macbeth Morphs with Chatterley at the Met

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 27th, 2014

    The production date is 1994. Graham Vick gets the credit. James Conlon conducted then, as he does this fall. The excellence from stem to stern is cause for celebration.

  • Frank Martin's Love Potion at Boston Lyric Opera

    Rarity Was Intended

    By: David Bonetti - Nov 22nd, 2014

    The BLO's off-site Annex series has proven over the past six years to be its most successful effort. Martin's work tackles a big subject - the fatal love of Tristan and Isolde - but with small forces. The BLO demonstrated that it can be a compelling evening in the theater.

  • San Francisco Symphony's Michael Tilson Thomas

    Adams, Prokofiev, Ravel Swoop and Soar

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 21st, 2014

    This program had wonderful sound links one piece to the other. Texture, color and sounds were similar although their composers were separated by centuries.

  • Tom Reney's 30 Years as WFCR Jazz DJ

    NEPR Endowment for Continued Jazz Programming

    By: Edward J. Bride - Nov 20th, 2014

    Jazz à la Mode has been a staple of WFCR-FM’s offerings –and Tom Reney its only host-- since the station’s inception of jazz programming in 1984. The NPR affiliate, which operates under the aegis of New England Public Radio, recently relocated from the environs of Reney’s alma mater, the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, to become part of the downtown Springfield scene.

  • Tanglewood 2015

    Let the Games Begin

    By: BSO - Nov 13th, 2014

    Here is the run down on the 2015 Tanglewood Season. Clip and save.

  • Joyce DiDonato at Carnegie Hall

    Venice is Evoked

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 05th, 2014

    Venice was evoked at Carnegie Hall, by the light, shimmering touch of pianist David Zobel accompanying the great American soprano Joyce Di Donato. Channeling Vivaldi, Rossini, Faure, Head and Hahn, this dynamic duo created an unforgettable evening.

  • Peter Sellars Artist of the Year

    Musical America Names a Genius

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 04th, 2014

    The idea for "The Death of Kllinghoffer: came from Sellars. He directed the St. Matthew Passion" with the Berlin Philharmonic. At Santa Fe where he has directed he roams the grounds hugging everyone. A warm, brilliant man. He deserves all of his awards.

  • Revisiting San Francisco Opera

    Tosca and Partenope Evoke Vivid Memories

    By: David Bonetti - Nov 01st, 2014

    The two operas I saw on consecutive nights at the San Francisco Opera, Puccini's "Tosca" - one of the genre's true hits - and Handel's "Partenope," a rarity - show that the company has the ambition to represent the full range of the operatic repertory, often featuring major vocal and directorial stars.

  • The Death of Klinghoffer Arrives at the Met

    John Adams' Controversial Opera is Smashing

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 25th, 2014

    Months of protesting, picketing and angry letters in the opinion pages of newspapers heralded the first Metropolitan Opera production of John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer. The production is first rate. The drama compelling. Sets, lighting, singing, the chorus, all top fight. Since the first production of the opera in 1991 there have been no protests, until some citizens of New York rose up this year.

  • Abdullah Ibrahim/Dollar Brand at Carnegie

    Soulful Marabi of South Africa Lofts in New York

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 19th, 2014

    Ibrahim has lived through it all. Apartheid and the liberation. He has always performed music of his beloved country, with Miriam Makeba and others. At Carnegie, in repose, he came to terms with the violent, disruptive past of South Africa in peaaceful contemplation.

  • Gotham Chamber Opera Floats Martinu

    Double Bill Absurd and Delicious

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 17th, 2014

    Some say that Martinu is an acquired taste. Gotham Chamber Opera made the case for acquiring. A spirited, songful pair of one act operas graced the Gerald Lynch stage and young singers full of talent and lyricism filled the hall.

  • Monteverdi Madrigals Examine Pains and Joys of Love

    Boston Early Music Festival Gets in Gear for Monteverdi Festval

    By: David Bonetti - Oct 15th, 2014

    Young Chamber Vocal Ensemble finds the contrasts in madrigals written 350 years ago that are still relevant today in a thrilling concert at Jordan Hall

  • La Traviatia at Boston Lyric Opera

    Effective but Uaffecting Production

    By: David Bonetti - Oct 13th, 2014

    Both Anya Matanovic and Michael Wade Lee, who make their debuts as Violetta and Alfredo, keep it cool, unable to express the passion in their roles. Boston Lyric Opera presents La Traviata

  • Simon Rattle at Carnegie Hall

    Conducts Berlin Philharmonic

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 03rd, 2014

    The texture and tones of the orchestra have been honed over decades and by various music directors. Rattle respects composers and his instrumentalists who interpret them. He works in broad strokes and lets performers do their detail work. An harmonious approach.

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