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  • 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.

  • BLO Presents Massenet's Werther

    Love-sick Poet Who Took His Life Quintessential Romanticism

    Werther
    By: David Bonetti - Mar 28th, 2016

    Based on the Goethe novel, which set off a plague of copy-cat suicides in 18th century Europe, the late Romantic opera is arguably Massenet's masterpiece - at least it still speaks to us today. Lyrical throughout, it becomes intensely dramatic in Act III and IV. The BLO cast was not ideal, but they did the best they could and had many affecting moments.

  • ACJW Rocks National Sawdust

    Carnegie Hall and Juilliard Launch Their Best

    NS
    By: Susan Hall and Djurdjija Vucinic - Mar 31st, 2016

    The accessibility of contemporary music was never in question at a superb evening with the ACJW Ensemble at Nation Sawdust in Brooklyn.

  • Opera Philadelphia's Yardbird at the Apollo

    Lawrence Brownlee Superb as Charlie Parker

    CP
    By: Susan Hall - Apr 03rd, 2016

    Charlie Parker ended up an unknown in Bellevue's morgue. While the opera Yardbird is set in the jazz club Birdland then on 52nd Street, affectionately named after the genius of bebop, Bird himself is in purgatory, not yet buried, writing a final symphonic work and plagued by memories of the women in his life. Tenor Lawrence Brownlee makes an indelible impression in the title role.

  • BMOP Revives David Del Tredici's "Child Alice"

    Neo-Romantic masterpiece gets second outing in 30 years

    By: David Bonetti - Apr 08th, 2016

    Back in the '70s, David Del Tredici was the hottest composer in town. Then he and the movement he led, neo-Romanticism, faded from view. His obsessive, rapturous works based on Lewis Carroll's "Alice" deserve to be heard. Gil Rose and his Boston Modern Orchestra Project obliges. The result - two and a half hours of lush music - was largely satisfactory. We want to hear more.

  • American Academy Awards to Vocal Composers

    Kate Soper and Lewis Spratlan Honored

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 12th, 2016

    Contemporary music is alive and well in America and two special composers have been honored by the VIrgil Thomson Award and the Charles Ives Prize.

  • ACJW Ensemble at Carnegie

    Weill Hall Setting for American Composers

    By: Djurdjija Vucinic - Apr 14th, 2016

    Charming ACJW pianist Michael James Smith told us that when Carnegie first opened 125 years ago, no American music was played. Now we had an American evening, from Copland and Ives to an early Glass chamber piece and the stunning Carnegie premier of Steven Mackey's Micro Concerto. Cellist Caleb van der Swaagh explained tongue-in-cheek how hard it is to be a cellist and how easy it is to play 35 different percussion instruments, many of them featured by Mackey.

  • James Levine Resigns as Met's Music Director

    Tenure Ended by Chronic Illness

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 16th, 2016

    Speaking to the Maestro about chocolate in February, it was clear that he had not found the answer to uncontrollable hand and arm movements, although his mind was as a sharp as ever. We agreed that Mondel's was the best hand-made chocolate in New York, but he also likes Mrs. See's chocolates in Los Angeles. It would be encouraging to hear that he will continue working with young talent at the Met and at the Juilliard School.

  • Tilson Thomas Leads SFO at Carnegie

    Sasha Cooke and Simon O'Neill Evoke Mahler

    SFO
    By: Djurdjija Vucinic - Apr 17th, 2016

    Sasha Cooke and Simon O'Neill singing Mahler's Song of the Earth gave ravishing performances with the San Francisco Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas. Woodwinds and brass also stood out in Schubert and Mahler.

  • Jeremy Denk at Carnegie Hall

    Poet of the Piano Rocks With Ragtime

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 18th, 2016

    Jeremy Denk is a formidable writer and pianist. While a man of such iconoclastic and apt thoughts might let 'intent' dominate performance, Denk succeeds in melding his ideas into the keyboard and creating music of seamless satisfaction.

  • Boston Baroque Does Mozart's The Magic Flute

    Production Brought Out Its beauty

    By: David Bonetti - Apr 19th, 2016

    Boston Baroque strayed from its central focus on Baroque music to play Mozart's eternally popular "The Magic Flute." I don't like its quasi-religiosity, but Mozart's music proves irresistible. Martin Pearlman played his Baroque band with style, and the vocal cast was (mostly) excellent.

  • BSO Ends Season with French and Russian Program

    Kristine Opolais Sang Tatiana's Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin

    BSO
    By: David Bonetti - Apr 25th, 2016

    The BSO seems to love working with its new music director Andris Nelsons, who was ending his second season with this concert, which, BTW, featured his glamorous wife, Kristine Opolais, as the soprano soloist. In addition to the Tchaikovsky, the program included Debussy's "La Mer," Ravel's "La Valse" and Dutilleux's "Metaboles."

  • Manhattan School of Music's Superb Opera

    Ibert and Ravel Entrance

    MSM
    By: Susan Hall - Apr 28th, 2016

    Persée and Andromède by Ibert and L'Enfant et Sortilèges by Ravel with a brilliant libretto by Colette, her only opera, are staged by the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater. This school's productions are among New York's finest. The singing is of professional calibre. The productions are considered from sets to costumes to a first-rate orchestral accompaniment. Year after year you can count on MSM for an evening of operatic pleasure.

  • Dolly Parton Added to Tanglewood Schedule

    Country Music Artist to Perform on June 17

    BSO
    By: BSO - Mar 25th, 2016

    Country music icon Dolly Parton makes her Tanglewood debut with a season-opening performance Friday, June 17, at 7 p.m. in the Koussevitzky Music Shed, joining the Tanglewood 2016 Popular Artist line-up. Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra will also perform in the Shed on Saturday, September 3, at 8 p.m.

  • Carmen McRae

    Life Is a Cabaret

    Carmen
    By: Charles Giuliano - Mar 24th, 2016

    During intimate club gigs you got to hang out with legendary artists like jazz singer Carmen McRae. She was open about sharing the insights and secrets of her unique craft as a compelling cabaret artist. Even in concert halls she conveyed a feeling of reaching out to every individual in the audience.

  • Jazz Diva Sarah Vaughan

    Sassy to the Maxy

    Sarah
    By: Charles Giuliano - Mar 21st, 2016

    During the 1930s and 1940s, when sing was king, a remarkable number of now legendary women fronted big bands. There were so many great artists. Among jazz aficionados the dialogue often focuses on Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. When Bop and small combos broke up all but a few of the big bands there was a style shift, Artists like Vaughan were repackaged into the mainstream of top forty radio. In the late years Vaughan defaulted back to jazz.

  • Tanglewood Adds Popular Artists

    Rounding Out 2016 Season

    BSO
    By: BSO - Feb 29th, 2016

    Depending on what acts are on tour it generally takes some time for the BSO to fill in the gaps with non classical programming. Of the four acts that have been added three have previously been featured at Tanglewood. In addition to previously announced artists Berkshire audiences will be offered Earth Wind and Fire, Jackson Browne, and Train. The dance band B-52s will appear with an evening of Pops.

  • Russian National Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

    Stefan Jackiw Captivates in Prokofiev

    By: Susan Hall - Mar 03rd, 2016

    Pianists approach simple, lyrical music with a delicate touch, and the prize-winning Russian pianist, Mikhail Pletnev, now a conductor, approached his orchestra in just this spirit. Borodin’s short tone poem, In the Steppes of Central Asia, was lush and yet simple, bringing forth lovely melodies, among them ‘Stranger in Paradise,” which we know well from Kismet.

  • Billstock Festival at The Log

    March Madness in Williamstown

    Bill
    By: Charles Giuliano - Mar 06th, 2016

    On Saturday night The Log was packed with Williams College students who seemed oblivious to the sixth annual Billstock Festival. Under the direction of organizer Michael Williams the event was masterful in its understated lack of promotion. We hunkered down for a fun evening including a compelling Bowie tribute by the trio, Rebel Rebel, a set of plaintive love songs by Lucy Davis, and a kick-ass rock set by the legendary Jane and Jeff.

  • Bob Dylan at Tanglewood This Summer

    July 2 in The Shed with Mavis Staples

    By: BSO - Mar 07th, 2016

    Bob Dylan—with special guest Mavis Staples—will perform at Tanglewood’s Koussevitzky Music Shed on Saturday, July 2. This is Dylan’s third appearance at the Western Massachusetts music festival, having performed there in the 1991 season and again in 1997.

  • BSO Goes to Spain with Ravel and deFalla

    Charles Dutoit Conducts Sunny Music on a Cold Night

    BSO
    By: David Bonetti - Mar 06th, 2016

    The concert opened with charming tone-poems by Ravel and de Falla, but after intermission, with Ravel's one-act "musical comedy," "L'Heure espagnole," a Feydeau-like farce, the charm quotient went up the scale. A charming cast contributed to a charming evening.

  • Christian McBride Named Newport's Music Curator

    To Succeed Newport Jazz Festival Founder George Wein

    McBride
    By: Newport - Mar 10th, 2016

    For 62 remarkable years George Wein has be the head of the Newport Jazz Festival franchise. The renowned bass player Christian McBride will ease into that position as artistic director. McBride is a multiple Grammy winner. Has performed at Tanglewood on a program with Wynton Marsalis.

  • LaMama Discovers American Music

    Dvorak Pricks Up His Ears

    dvorak
    By: Susan Hall - Mar 12th, 2016

    The ever inventive Czecholovak-American Theatre tracks Antonin Dvorak's arrival in America and shows us how he discovered unique American sounds from cottonpickers in the South to Hiawatha.

  • Salonen Honors Messiaen at NY Phil

    Tristan and Exhaulted Love Revealed in Turangalila

    By: Susan Hall and Djurdjija Vucinic - Mar 13th, 2016

    Audiences were often ahead of critics in appreciating Messiaen's music. Turangalila was given a warm, tener, violent, expressive, often magical and always colorful performance at David Geffen Hall. Young people were packed in to hear the composer.

  • Beautiful Madama Butterfly at MET Opera

    Directed by Oscar Winner Anthony Minghella

    By: Deborah Heineman - Mar 20th, 2016

    The Metropolitan Opera’s performance of Madama Butterfly is a timeless classic with the ultimate tragic heroine. When coupled with dramatic direction by Anthony Minghella (Oscar winner for The English Patient) and modern, other worldly staging as this production is, the audience is spellbound for the full three + hours and more than a few could not hold back tears at the heart-wrenching end.

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