• Die Walk├╝re (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.

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