• On Site Opera Presents Mozart

    The Secret Garden

    By: Susan Hall - May 13th, 2017

    On Site Opera is committed to producing in a place that echoes the theme or setting of an opera. The enchanting West Side Community Garden provided the set for an early Mozart opera. The cast was superb, picking tulips, dashing through flowerbeds, all for the seeming purpose of finding love. Where better to look and listen than a garden?

  • Can the Metropolitan Opera Survive

    The House is One-Quarter Full

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 10th, 2017

    Sitting in the 7th row of the orchestra at the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday night, in a skimpy house, most of my neighbors had paid between $20 and $37.50 for their tickets. Fortunately for the Met Opera, HD fans have a different take on Met productions than people who like their opera live.

  • Three Generations of Composers at Carnegie

    Part, Glass and Reich Featured

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 07th, 2017

    The Deans of Contemporary Music for the past fifty years were represented at Zanekl Hall, in Carnegie Hall. Steve Reich is curating this series of concerts. They are revealing and surprising.

  • Michael Tilson Thomas at Carnegie Hall

    San Francisco Orchestra Comes in From the Storm

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 08th, 2017

    The San Francisco Orchestra arrived in New York at 4:30 am on the morning of their first concert. Storms had delayed them, and stormy music formed the center of their magnificent concert at Carnegie Hall. You would never guess that these performers were sleep-challenged as they played John Cage’s Seasons, the Shostakovich Cello Concerto and Bartok’s intimate Concerto for Orchestra, a marvel in its ability to engage and draw us in.

  • Conrad Tao Rages at Crypt

    Copland and Rzewski Featured

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 06th, 2017

    Conrad Tao is a fearless performer. He is open to reactions that can be very harsh and cruel, and also very beautiful. The Aaron Copland Piano Sonata that sat in the center of the program is a very calm, contemplative and yearning piece. It is during this almost withheld performance that you can clearly feel Tao’s art.

  • Adams and Riley at Carnegie Hall

    Saved by the Bells

    By: Susan Hall and Djurdjija Vucinic - Mar 31st, 2017

    For the past half century our ears and minds have been assaulted with sound. Many of us have ceased to hear. Yet modern composers are creating music to which you must listen to enjoy. They are opening up our ears. This spring, in the intimate Zankel Hall, Carnegie is presenting three generations of contemporary composers led by curator Steve Reich. There is no better way to start listening again. No matter how minimal the style, this music is saved by the marimba and vibraphone bells.

  • Janácek's Adventures of Vixen Sharp Ears

    Natural World's Entrance at Manhattan School of Music

    By: Susan Hall - Mar 30th, 2017

    When the Adventurs of Vixen Sharp Ears was selected for the spring opera production at the Manhattan School of Music the prescience in this time of challenge to our climate and natural world could not have been foreseen. Yet watching the moving and charming production this week, the impact of our country’s abandonment of planetary care makes Leoš Janácek's opera all the more touching

  • TenThing Brass Comes to New York

    Tine Thing Helseth's Group Dazzles with Class

    By: Susan Hall - Mar 28th, 2017

    TenThing brass came to Scandanavia House. The group consisting of four trumpets, four trombones, a horn and a tuba, has been touring the US to great success. Brassy and classy, they are as infectious as they are intimate. Ten, long-stemmed musicians delight.

  • American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

    Reich, Hertizberg, Prestini and Weston Rock Zankel Hall

    By: Susan Hall - Mar 26th, 2017

    Contemporary classic music is thriving. No longer is the ACO alone in performing new composers. Yet over the years they have commissioned and performed contemporary classical composers when few others would.

  • Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress

    The Boston Lyric Opera Production is Stylish and Sexy

    By: David Bonetti - Mar 22nd, 2017

    The morality play, inspired by Hogarth, was turned into an overlong, prolix opera by Stravinsky and his collaborators W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman. An attractive young cast does its best but can barely bring this dud to life. Special shout-outs to set and costume designers who made the production hip and racy.

  • James Cohn All American Composer

    Rich Brew of National, Folk, and Classical

    By: Djurdjija Vucinic - Mar 17th, 2017

    Joe Rosen, n crucial patron of the arts in New York City, often introduces the work of a composer who should be better known, James Cohn. Like Bartok and Dvorak, Cohn has plucked melodies from America’s folk music, adding distinctly modern disharmony, and yet capturing the rhythms, for instance, of the West.

  • Mark Morris: Two Operas

    An Evening of Britten and Purcell

    By: Susan Hall - Mar 16th, 2017

    Mark Morris does not leave not-well-enough alone. He enlivens Benjamin Britten's Curlew River with instruments on stage as they would be in the Noh drama on which this opera is based. He places the singers in the pit for Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. On stage, dancers enact the roles to entrance and also enhance the music. Morris conducts, directs, conceives and pleases along the way.

  • Ensemble Connect at Weill Recital Hall

    Venice of the 17th Century Played and Sung

    By: Susan Hall - Feb 21st, 2017

    Carnegie Hall includes in their celebration of Venetian music a group of young artists, Ensemble Y. Instrumentalists and singers gave great pleasure in baroque music.

  • Concert Artists Guild Encores

    Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall

    By: Susan Hall - Mar 15th, 2017

    On a dark and stormy night when many shows were cancelled in New York, young artists who had been prize winners in competitions held by the almost seventy-year-old Concert Artists Guild, performed in the jewel like concert hall, Weill Recital Hall. Their performances radiated warmth and style.

  • New York Philharmonic Performs John Adams

    Happy Birthday to Tunes of Absolute Jest

    By: Susan Hall - Mar 12th, 2017

    John Adams has close ties to the New York Philharmonic. He was in David Gefffen Hall to hear two works performed. In Absolute Jest a quartet formed by the principal performers of the Philharmonic was embedded, an alien force in their own home.

  • Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Gallery

    Out of this World Cabaret

    By: Susan Halll - Mar 10th, 2017

    Serge Sabarsky was co-founded of the Neue Gallery, one of the most learned and charming places in New York. Cafe Sabarsky offers an Austrian menu. Often you can find cabaraet Artists like Rachelle Garniez performing.

  • Mason Bates and Mark Campbell's Steve Jobs

    New Opera at Santa Fe Previewed at the Guggenheim

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 12th, 2017

    Mason Bates, one of the most frequently performed contemporary composers, has created an opera about Steve Jobs. Mark Campbell, the go-to librettist for contemporary opera, is Bates' teammate in the (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. A teaser was presented at the Guggenheim Museum’s indispensable and entertaining Works and Process series.

  • Rocker J. Geils at 71

    Leader and Namesake of a Boston Band

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 12th, 2017

    J. Geils (1946-2017) was the guitarist and leader of Boston's iconic J. Geils Band. The blues and rock group started in 1987 when lead singer Peter Wolf joined after Hallucinations broke up. Initially a blues based band they toured relentlessly while enjoying modest hits and mostly FM radio play. That changed when they left Atlantic Records and released the hit album Centerfold for Capitol/ EMI in 1981. While touring arenas for several years the band broke up after one last album when Wolf left to pursue a solo career.

  • Met Opera Ends Season with a Bang

    Alagna Sings Cyrano

    By: Susan Hall - May 11th, 2017

    Opera is a form of many pieces. When the set, production, singing and orchestra work together, opera makes its own case. Cyrano de Bergerac realizes the seemingly Sisyphean task beautifully.

  • Marriage of Figaro at Boston Lyric Opera

    Young Cast Delivers

    By: David Bonetti - May 06th, 2017

    As the final opera in its 40th anniversary season, the BLO ended on an exuberant note. The Mozart classic was transposed from the 18th century Vienna suburbs to a villa in 1950s Italy, allowing a range of chic retro fashions to take stage center. But the young singers, all in fine voice, did not let the costumes upstage them. This might not have been a profound "Figaro," but it was fun, which might be just what Mozart and da Ponte wanted.

  • Joshua Roman Performs at The Crypt

    Cellist Beams Us Up with Mystery and Spirituality

    By: Susan Hall - May 04th, 2017

    Joshua Roman approaches his cello as a friend and collaborator. The Crypt Sessions invite audiences to be friends and collaborative listeners and to meet and greet on the terrace of the Church of the Intercession as the sun sets. Over delicious foods by Ward 8 and wine selected by Magnum Opus, you find out why your fellow Crypt listeners have come.

  • Di Donato in Handel at Carnegie Hall

    Harry Bickett Conducts The English Concert

    By: Susan Hall - May 01st, 2017

    After his patron King George I died, Handel made a big comeback with three operas. Ariodante is the last and glorious. Set in Scotland, it is important to understand that, like the state of Texas in the US, women get killed if they are unfaithful. The culprit here is exonerated. The music and the singing triumph over all.

  • Three Generations Curated by Steve Reich

    Bryce Dessner and Nico Muhly st Carnegie Hall

    By: Djurdjija Vucinic - Apr 28th, 2017

    The fourth and last concert of the Three Generations series that took place in Zankel Hall was dedicated to the third generation: composers Nico Muhly and Bryce Dessner. Steve Reich who orchestrated this event, highlighted the composers who contributed to "changing the direction of concert music", as the subtitle further implies and actually unites them under the "same roof".

  • Babes in Toyland by MasterVoices

    Kelli O'Hara and Bill Irwin Headline Superb Cast

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 29th, 2017

    Babes in Toyland debuted over a century ago. It has been reprised in many film and TV versions. Now we have it as it started out, as one of the first American musical comedies, a genre in which this country specializes. MasterVoices concocted a delicious concert version at Carnegie Hall.

  • War Paint on Broadway's Dueling Divas

    Veterans Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole Star

    By: Edward Rubin - Apr 28th, 2017

    As wonderful as soprano Christine Ebersole cum Elizabeth Arden is – and the lady does have a couple of sensational show stoppers - it is the in-your-face belter Patti LuPone’s Helena Rubinstein who commands the most on stage attention in this show, as Rubinstein did in her every day life with her exotic wardrobe and jewelry, her thick European accent, and fast-flying zingers. “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones,” is one of her more famous quotes.

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