• 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.

  • Tanglewood 2016

    Tickets on Sale January 24

    By: BSO - Nov 20th, 2015

    Highlights of the 2016 Tanglewood season include BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons leading Boston Symphony Orchestra in Acts 1 & 2 of Verdi’s Aida with Kristine Opolais in the title role (8/20); Mahler’s Ninth Symphony (7/29); Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony (7/30); and music from Prokofiev’s Romeo And Juliet (8/21), plus music of Berlioz, Corigliano, Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Sibelius, and Tsontakis, as well as the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra’s annual Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert (7/31), an All-Brahms Program pairing the Symphony No. 1 and Piano Concerto No. 1 with Paul Lewis as soloist.

  • Philip Glass's In the Penal Colony

    Dystopian Production at Boston Lyric Opera

    By: David Bonetti - Nov 19th, 2015

    Glass's opera is based on the Franz Kafka story of a prison colony where prisoners discover their crimes only as they are slowly killed. A true believer is the Executioner, and the failed execution is witnessed by the Visitor, a representative of liberal society. With only two singing actors, the work is dependent on the performances, which in this case were excellent.

  • Rattle's Berlin Philharmoniker at Carnegie Hall

    Beethoven Sunny-side Up

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 20th, 2015

    The Berlin Philharmoniker has a sound and texture of its own. Smooth, but richly-textured, their performance of Beethoven's 6th and 8th Symphonies was a revelation at Carnegie Hall.

  • White Light, Concentric Circles, Thomas Adès

    Sadler's Wells Helps Us See Music

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 22nd, 2015

    Four dance pieces set to the music of Thomas Adès were performed as the finale to a magnificent White Light Festival presented by Lincoln Center. Adès is a provocative yet pleasing composer whose seeming idiosyncracies suit choreography. The Sadler's Wells ballet company, clearly rooted in classical techniques, springs out organically to suggest additional layers of meaning.

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Jake Heggie's Moby Dick at LA Opera

    Jay Hunter Morris a Magnificent Avenger

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 01st, 2015

    Moby Dick, the opera by Jake Heggie is inspired by Melville, but not the tale as we know it. As the librettist points out, since most people who think they have read Moby Dick haven't, the audience is not left wondering, for instance, where is "Call me Ishmael." Instead the extraordinary music conducted by James Conlon and the video projections which are the heart of the set sweep you up and carry you off on the obsessive chase for revenge.

  • Norma by Bellini Ignites LA Opera

    Angela Meade and Jamie Barton, Luxury Casting

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 01st, 2015

    Bellini died young, but like Mozart and Schubert, will never be forgotten. Norma is the all-time great Bellini opera. In the age of Lena Dunham, it comes as a shock that women in antiquity could choose friendship over boyfriends. Even the Roman consul is shocked when one of his lovers upends him. For great singing, rush to the LA Opera's Norma.

  • Diana Damrau at Carnegie Hall

    A Range of Dramatic Power and Grace

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 06th, 2015

    Diana Damrau attends every detail of her performance. A gifted programmer, she started small and moving, with a Schubert song and ended vamping Dvorak.

  • First Night Saratoga 2016

    Celebrating the New Year

    By: Chris Buchanan - Nov 06th, 2015

    Every New Years Eve different cities and towns host celebrations of varying caliber, but Saratoga outshines them all. This year marks their 20th anniversary.

  • Breaking Through at Pasadena Playhouse

    World Premiere Musical

    By: Jack Lyons - Nov 06th, 2015

    The world premiere of “Breaking Through”, a musical with a book by Kirsten Guenther and music and lyrics by Cliff Downs and Katie Kahanovitz, is now on stage at The Pasadena Playhouse under the direction of Playhouse Artistic Director Sheldon Epps.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Christine Goerke as Elektra at the BSO

    Boston Audience Bonkers Over Performance

    By: David Bonetti - Oct 20th, 2015

    Strauss's early operatic masterpiece follows its Greek model closely to reveal the neurosis at the heart of modern life. Andris Nelsons led a white-hot BSO performance of a lurid, fin-de-siecle masterpiece. The cast, led by Christine Goerke, Jane Henschel and Gun-Brit Barkmin, was stellar.

  • Goerke as Elektra at Carnegie Hall

    Nelsons Conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 21st, 2015

    In 2014 Nelsons conducted Strauss' Salome at Carnegie. What a reprise Elektra is. Experience at Bayreuth may give the Maestro the ability to bring out the Wagner in Strauss, and then go far beyond to the condensed emotional pitch of Strauss and to his sheer beauty. Christine Goerke, fresh from her triumph in Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera, gave a performance for the ages.

  • The BSO Plays Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff

    Ice Cracks and Violins Dance at Carnegie Hall

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 24th, 2015

    For the third evening of their triptych at Carnegie Hall, conductor Andris Nelsons presented the Russians at their bipolar best: dark battles and wild dances. Nelsons introduced himself at Tanglewood two years ago with a performance of the Symphonic Dances. He and the Boston Symphony exceeded themselves at Carnegie.

  • Gil Shaham and David Michalek Translate Bach

    Extraordinary Music and Visuals at Zankel Hall

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 26th, 2015

    Having attended William Kentridge’s illustration of Schubert’s Winterriese cycle sung by Mathias Goerne, the first image projected for the video accompaniment of Solos for Violin by Bach came as a shock. A small baby, lying on his back, seems to be listening to the Bach, as Gil Shaham begins to play the first Sonata. A revelation followed.

  • Muddy Waters

    Got His Mojo Working

    By: Charles Giuliano - Oct 28th, 2015

    Young British rockers Stones, Yardbirds, Clapton, Beck lapped up Muddy's licks on those iconic Chess Records. Copped his tunes some morphed from Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues. Always a thrill when he came to town and held court.

  • Van Zweden at New York Philharmonic

    Inon Barnatan Joins the Magic-Making

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 30th, 2015

    While listeners do not always agree with Jaap van Zewden's take on the classics, everyone is thrilled to listen. Taking the music in long arcs, permitting interpretation by individual artists in the orchestra and accompanying soloists, van Zweden is a passionate and generous music-maker. The New York Philharmonic was alive with the sound of music.

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