• Reich Reverberates at Lincoln Center

    Ensemble Signal and Jack Quartet Capture the Spirit

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 20th, 2016

    In his 80th birthday year, Reich is being celebrated by Tilson Thomas in San Francisco and in a train station outside London in September. He is in New York now with multiple concerts as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. We are fortunate indeed for this native New Yorker.

  • Gounod's Romeo and Juliet

    Santa Fe Opera Orchestra

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 22nd, 2016

    The Santa Fe Orchestra under Harry Bicket charges in the introduction to Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet with a dark gusto. On stage, the Capulets in blue sword fight with the Montagus in red. We quickly cut to the choral summation of the famous tale of ill-fated lover who pave the way to peace among naturally-born enemies.

  • Don Giovanni Burns Up in Santa Fe

    Superb Mozart

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 22nd, 2016

    The production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni now running at the Santa Fe Opera is a perfect occasion for a celebration of the opera company’s sixtieth anniversary. Seating over 2200, it is a grand house in part because it is located on a mountain top with a view of the Jemez Mountains. Performances begin at 8pm as the sun sets and the backstage real sky is streaked orange, and red and burnt sienna.

  • Capriccio at Santa Fe Opera

    Insider's Debate Gives Pleasure to All

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 23rd, 2016

    Are words or music more important? In opera there is no debate. Both reign. Richard Strauss, trapped in Nazi Germany because beloved members of his family were Jewish and he wanted to save them, set his last opera as a debate. Unquestionably, in 1942 he was also making a plea for civilization. Santa Fe produces a delightful take on Capriccio.

  • Chorus Line in Charleston

    Opens 85th Season of Footlight Players

    By: Sandy Katz - Aug 25th, 2016

    The production of A Chorus Line which opened the 85th season of Footlight Players in Charleston was so fresh and lively that it was hard to fathom that the musical premiered some four decades ago. The smallish stage was packed with 26 hopefuls auditioning for just eight roles.

  • Opera Love in Santa Fe

    Exploring a Theme

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 25th, 2016

    Love is the theme connecting the five productions of the Santa Fe Opera 2016 Festival. Leading off one week of the season was Don Giovanni, where an attempted rape and then a murder jumpstart the opera. The Don is a questionable subject for the discussion of love, as the Don mows down woman after woman in his quest for the Guinness Book of Records first place position as the world’s best, or most effective, seducer. Yet love triumphs.

  • Josephine Baker JB Julia Bullock

    Hello Blackbird at Mostly Mozart

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 25th, 2016

    Peter Sellars suggested that Julia Bullock interpret Josephine Baker. The young African American, who is more interested in creating musical moments than she is in taking on conventional opera roles, is riveting as Baker in a piece composed by Tyshawn Sorey.

  • Naughton Twins Play Messiaen

    Genetics Gives a New Dimension to Duo Piano at the Crypt

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 26th, 2016

    Two pianos. Four hands. One heart. A spiritual beauty lurks in the origins of Messiaen's music. Certainly duo pianists Michelle and Christina Naughton seem spiritually bound to one another, although there a sparks of difference. This does not suggest conflict, but rather an opportunity to work to achieve unity, as Messiaen must have worked to embrace his God in the face of the Nazi occupation of France.

  • Train, Yo-Yo Ma, Jeremy Denk and The B52's

    Tanglewood Rocks.

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Sep 04th, 2016

    The 2016 Tanglewood season come to a close with a long time commitment from Conductor Andris Nelsons to lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2017.

  • Tenor Johan Botha Dead at 51

    Memories of His Large Glorious Voice

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 08th, 2016

    Johan Botha died today in Vienna at 51. He had suffered from liver cancer, but was scheduled to sing at the Wiener Staatsoper this fall. The September 10th performance of Turandot will be dedicated to him. He once said, “The biggest milestone for me is to make people happy and smile.”

  • the loser by David Lang at BAM

    Thomas Bernhard Novel an Opera

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 09th, 2016

    David Lang was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music to compose an opera. The remarkable chamber opera 'the loser' is the result. Lang has lifted the author Thomas Bernhard's words, translated by Jack Dawson, intact. He can do this because the author composes with words very much as a musician composes with notes. The subject of the piece is Glenn Gould, whose uncanny ability to separate voices is the same as Bernhard's narrative schizophrenia.

  • Boston’s The Verb Hotel

    Displays Bieber Collection of Rock Memorabelia

    By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 10th, 2016

    After graduation from the BU School of Journalism David Bieber found that the only way to research and promote rock music was to collect the material. Soon his apartment was cluttered with thousands of albums and related detritus. It is the foremost archive of a formative era when Boston emerged as a major matrix for contemporary music. Now highlights of the Bieber Collection have been installed at Boston's The Verb Hotel.

  • Fresh Grass Festival Is Now!

    Best Bluegrass Festival In The Northeast

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Sep 11th, 2016

    Once a year, the Fresh Grass Festival takes over the grounds of the Mass MoCA art museum in North Adams, Massachusetts. This year's festival features the best bluegrass musicians from all over the world. Fresh Grass takes place from Friday, September 16th through Sunday, September 18th.

  • Hershey Felder's Maestro

    Leonard Bernstein's Tanglewood and So Much More

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 11th, 2016

    After an early triumphant conducting performance, the press crowded into the green room to speak to the young Maestro. They then turned to his father Sam and asked," Why did you block your son’s early career in music,?" To which Sam replied "How did I know he was Leonard Bernstein?"

  • New York City Opera Opens in the Rose Theatre

    Aleko and Pagliacci Double Bill

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 12th, 2016

    Michael Capusso has breathed new life into the New York City Opera and honors its mission and traditions as well. The fall season opened with a double bill: Aleko by Serge Rachmaninoff and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci.

  • Broadway Bounty Hunter Stars Annie Golden

    Barrington Stage Debuts Hit Musical by Joe Iconis

    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 20th, 2016

    Annie Golden broke out with Hair in 1979. As she sings in a sure to be standard the actress is a "Woman of a Certain Age." She plays herself in a world premiere of Broadway Bounty Hunters by Joe Iconis at Barrington Stage Company. This is a fun musical that you will want to see at least twice. They just don't make them like this anymore.

  • Barry Humphries' Weimar Cabaret

    With Meow Meow and Australian Chamber Orchestra

    Barry Humphries and Meow Meow
    By: Maria Reveley - Aug 15th, 2016

    Barry Humphries' Weimar Cabaret focuses on the degenerate (according to the Nazis) music of Berlin's Weimar Republic of the 1920s-30s. Humphries presents and performs this music with the talented international cabaret performer, Meow Meow, and with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, led by its artistic director and violinist, Richard Tognetti. Together, these talents delivered a wonderfully done, touching and mesmerizing performance at Tanglewood's Seiji Ozawa Hall in Lenox, MA last night.

  • Leon Botstein Makes the Case for Mascagni

    Iris Beautifully Sung at Bard Summer Festival

    By: Susan Hall and Djurdjija Vucinic - Jul 25th, 2016

    Leon Botstein, music impresario of the first order, declared that if Mascagni’s opera Iris was good enough for Toscanini, it was good enough for him. Many of us feel that if it’s good enough for Botstein, it’s good enough for us. The music is gorgeous. Botstein hears Wagner. We heard Puccini. The descending fifth leap from Tosca started many a phrase. Yet it was Mascagni that preceded Puccini.

  • Madama Butterfly at Hubbard Hall

    Saying Goodbye to Hubbard Hall Opera Theater's Founding Artistic Director

    Cosi fan tutte
    By: Chris Buchanan - Jul 26th, 2016

    Artistic Director of Hubbard Hall Opera Theater, Alix Jones, talks to us about how small-scale opera started at Hubbard Hall, why is succeeded, and where it might go next.

  • Mozart Celebrated in New York

    Festival Fifty Years Young

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 26th, 2016

    The Mostly Mozart Festival is fifty years young. To celebrate the occasion, Lincoln Center put on The Illuminated Heart at David Geffen Hall. Singers were the A list of opera. It was like degustation at Sur Mesure. Like the All Star game, you wondered if another operatic music event could be going on anywhere. Seems like everyone who was anyone was on stage.

  • Sound Worlds of So at Lincoln Center

    Phasing from Reich to Lang to Dessner

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 30th, 2016

    In the 19th century, no one musically-inclined would have imagined percussion as the central arbiter of musical taste two centuries later. Yet today no one could live without percussion and the So Percussion Quartet makes the case for striking objects of every imaginable variety, including flower pots and tea cups.

  • Chick Corea Trio at Tanglewood

    Final Gig of 75th Birthday Tour

    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 01st, 2016

    Now in his 75th year pianist Chick Corea with a trio of jazz masters- bass player, Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade- visited Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood. It was amoing the best of the many times we have heard him perform.

  • Beethoven's Fidelio at Caramoor

    Elza Van Den Heever Shows What the Voice Can Do

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 31st, 2016

    Fidelio is a political opera, but not politics rooted in biography, which John Adams and Philip Glass have undertaken. Here is an ordinary political prisoner, starving to death for his principles. Edward Snowden might be the model for the role today if the big guys could catch him.

  • Let the Good Times Roll

    Summer Fun in Charleston

    By: Sandy Katz - Aug 02nd, 2016

    For fabulous summer fun Let the Good Times Roll at Charleston's Music Hall.

  • Fresh Grass Festival at Mass MoCa

    Three Days of Bluegrass Music

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Aug 03rd, 2016

    Mass MoCA is home to the renowned Fresh Grass music festival. Over 50 bands will play on the grounds of the museum, during this three day event. It takes place from September 16th to 18th. Rosanne Cash and Ricky Scaggs are a few of the headliners.

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