Susan Hall


Recent Articles:

  • One-Act Plays at Ensemble Studio Theatre Front Page

    Series C Superb

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 23rd, 2019

    The five One-Act plays presented by Ensemble Studio Theatre, Series C, are a crowning achievement in this 37th Annual event.

  • Stonewall the Opera, World Premiere Front Page

    Iain Bell and Mark Campbell with NY City Opera

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 22nd, 2019

    Stonewall, an opera by Iain Bell with libretto by Mark Campbell, had its world premiere at the New York City Opera. The work was commissioned as part of a commitment by NYCO to produce an LGBT Opera during Pride Month every year. It is a triumph for the artists and the company.

  • O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars Front Page

    At the Irish Repertory Theatre

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 21st, 2019

    A superb production of Sean O’Casey’s play, The Plough and the Stars, concludes the Irish Repertory Theatre’s O’Casey cycle. Charlotte Moore directs this subtly textured staging, deploying all the tools her theatre and actors have honed over the years.

  • Dropping Gumballs, a World Premiere Front Page

    Theresa Rebeck Directs Rob Ackerman's Play

    By: Rachel de Aragon - Jun 20th, 2019

    Working Theater Presents the World Premier of Dropping Gumballs on Luke Wilson by Rob Ackerman , directed by Theresa Rebeck. The Working Theater's Mark Present is the producing artistic director and Laura Carbonell Monarque the managing director bring us a play which is true the the vision and mission of the company. Stories reflect a diverse population of the working majority, acknowledging their complexity by creating theater of interest to working people.

  • Queen of Conspiracy World Premiere Front Page

    Josh Hartwell Delivers at Miners Alley Playhouse

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 17th, 2019

    Leo Mateo, the artistic and Executive Director of the Miners Alley Playhouse, is a fan of the podcast form. One day, he heard about Mae Brussell, a prominent conspiracy theorist who lived from 1922-1988. Her radio broadcasts were extremely popular. She dove into JFK’s murder, giving herself as a birthday present 26 volumes of the Warren Commission report. Her life and impact are explored in Josh Hartwell's highly entertaining and provocative new play.

  • Phenomenal Nature at Met Breuer Front Page

    Mrinalini Mukherjee, Sculptor

    By: Brigitte Bentele - Jun 17th, 2019

    Phenomenal Nature, the first American retrospective of the remarkable sculptures of Indian artist, Mrinalini Mukherjee, will be on display at the Met Breuer until September 29 and is well worth viewing.

  • Paul Pelkonen of Superconductor Front Page

    Recalling a Brilliant Music Critic

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 17th, 2019

    Paul Pelkonen, a brilliant critic, died suddenly of heart failure at the age of 46. Paul was one of the great pleasures of reporting on music. He loved it as much as anyone could, and knew more about it than most people. His taste was impeccable.

  • Experiencing Barbara Hannigan Front Page

    Ojai Music Director 2019

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 13th, 2019

    As a conductor, Barbara Hannigan is full of physical energy and a dynamic beat. Listening to her sing and conduct feels intimate, intuitive, and collaborative. Bowled over by Hannigan’s deep musicality, her sense of the proper degree of vibrato is often overlooked. She has just the right amount of delicate breath in each note, giving the slightest hint of texture to a smooth and pure line. One’s sense of this may be a matter of taste, but the style suits the music she chooses to sing.

  • Ojai Festival Magic Making 2019 Front Page

    Thomas W. Morris and Barbara Hannigan

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 12th, 2019

    The Ojai Music Festival in California is almost 75 years old. In this magical setting an hour and a half north of Los Angeles, music making is very much here and now. Each year, an artistic director selects a music director and works with her to program four days of performance, talk and film screenings. While coming for one program undoubtedly gives pleasure, the maximum effect of this festival is to be had by immersion. This is not your ordinary concert program. One performance follows another by design and relationships become more clear as the days pass.

  • David Lang World Premiere at NY Philharmonic Front Page

    A Take Off from Beethoven's Fidelio

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 05th, 2019

    The world premiere of David Lang's prisoner of the state takes place in David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic. The 106 member orchestra will perform, but this can hardly be called a concert production. Instead the Hall has been transformed into a prison. Even the instrumentalists on stage are in prison. Costumes, chains and handcuffs were ordered from Bob Barker, the country's leading detention supplier.

  • Ensemble Studio Theatre's 37th Marathon Front Page

    One Acts Present Dilemmas in Series B

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 04th, 2019

    Dilemmas in all their perplexity, humanity or otherwise, and bewilderment are presented in all five one act plays in Series B of the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s annual one act marathon.

  • Experiments at the NY Opera Festival Front Page

    A.M. Homes Writes Her First LIbretto

    By: Susan Hall - Jun 03rd, 2019

    Experiments in Opera was co-founded in Brooklyn in 2010 by composers Aaron Siegel, Matthew Welch and Jason Cady. They contributed Chunky in Heat to the New York Opera Festival. It was a wild, wacky and moving work.

  • Hamilton by Ishmael Reed Front Page

    Full Production to Tag National Tour of Miranda's Version

    By: Rachel de Aragon - May 29th, 2019

    Nuyorican Poets Cafe and writer Ishmael Reed present The Haunting Of Lin Manuel Miranda through June 17th. Amid the flurry of enthusiasm for the Broadway show, Hamilton, Reed lays waste to the show's premises and assumptions, without deriding the talent or intentions of the remarkably gifted Miranda or his cast.

  • TON Performs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Front Page

    Top Young Musicians under Leon Botstein Reveal Webern and Feldman

    By: Susan Hall - May 28th, 2019

    The Orchestra Now (TON) is brave. In taking on two of the seminal composers of modern music, they tackled the presentation of developing ideas about sound as music, to which the 20th century composers have added new dimensions. Some composers took the sounds out of time. Anton Webern often composed suggesting different tempi measure to measure. While Morton Feldman did not go as far as John Cage, inviting musical artists to perform whatever, whenever, he often suspended his work out of time.

  • Young People's Chorus Premieres Ellen Reid Front Page

    Joined by Shallaway Choir and Mantra Percussion

    By: Susan Hall - May 23rd, 2019

    The Young People’s Chorus gave their third annual Vocal Resolutions Concert on May 19th at the Gerald Lynch Theater in New York. This group, founded by Francisco Nunez three decades ago, has reached the pinnacle of professional success. They invited an equally celebrated group, the Shalloway Choir from Newfoundland, to join them this year. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2019, Ellen Reid's world premiere composition for YPC was a highlight of the program.

  • One Act Play Festival at Ensemble Studio Theatre Front Page

    Five Plays on New Relationships

    By: Rachel de Aragon - May 22nd, 2019

    Ensemble Studio Theatre and Radio Drama Network Present Five one-act plays in the superb annual festival. Five writers, five directors and 16 actors bring us an amusing and thoughtful collage of 21st century dilemmas.

  • Dominican Heroines at Repertorio Espagnol Front Page

    Caridad Svich Tells the Story of Mariposas

    By: Susan Hall - May 21st, 2019

    There had been a surge of interest in the Mariposa sisters since Junio Diaz told their story in his Pulitzer Prize winning, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. In a middle-class family, three out of four sisters formed an underground resistance to the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, each in her own way. Minerva studied law and led her group. She could not sit by and leave her children living in a world created by a tyrant.

  • Barbara Hannigan at the Ojai Festival Front Page

    From The Rake's Progress to a Crazy Girl Suite

    By: Susan Hall - May 21st, 2019

    What makes the Ojai Festival in California unique among festivals? Its Artistic Director continues year after year. Each year a different Music Director is chosen. That person curates the festival as through-performance. You are led by the music on a journey full of surprises and delights.

  • Murasaki's Moon at Metropolitan Museum Front Page

    Michi Wiancko's Opera Debuts

    By: Susan Hall - May 20th, 2019

    Musical artist Michi Wiancko under the wing of the American Lyric Theater’s development program and backed by Opera America has written a new opera with librettist Deborah Brevoort. The 17th century Astor Chinese Garden Court was the setting of a modern take on the 11th century Tales of Genji. It was written by court lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu who lived between 973-1025 C.E. in Japan. She was the daughter of a petty court noble.

  • Kopernikus at the Image Project Room Front Page

    Claude Vivier Takes the Fear Out of Death

    By: Susan Hall - May 18th, 2019

    Claude Vivier died in 1983 at age 35. He lived in Paris at the end of his life and was stabbed to death by a young man he had been attracted to. His final opera which told this story before it happened was sitting on his work table. He never heard Koperikus produced, but in this century it has built up a head of steam. Its New York premiere was held at the Image Project Room in Brooklyn.

  • Patience & Sarah at Danny Kaye Theater Front Page

    Paula Kimper's Folktale of Love Come True

    By: Susan Hall - May 14th, 2019

    Patience & Sarah was one of the first same sex love stories produced in the United States. It was radical subject matter in the 20th century. It hardly seems daring today, as Brokeback Mountain has stormed opera houses and a transgender work, As One, will have a New York premiere later this month. Yet the production by Hunter College and American Opera Projects was lovely and hopeful.

  • A New Take on Immigration Front Page

    Sea Dog Theater Produces a Winner

    By: Rachel de Aragon - May 09th, 2019

    The Rare Biosphere, a new play by Chris Cragin Day presented by the Sea Dog Theater and directed by Christopher J Domig is a charming and poignant look at at the question of immigration. Through the lives of a very American adolescent lens we are confronted with realities which upset the norm-- and intensify choices

  • Emmeline by Tobias Picker Front Page

    Classic Contemporary Opera at Manhattan School of Music

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 27th, 2019

    Manhattan School of Music mounts a superb production of Tobias Picker's Emmeline this spring. Directed by the gifted Thaddeus Strassberger, the work has been moved into the present and resonates as a universal tale. George Manahan. who conducted the world premiere of the work at Santa Fe Opera over twenty years ago, led the orchestra, revealing all the richness of the score. Young talent created unforgettable characters in this re-telling of a Greek myth.

  • Hilma af Klint, The Opera Front Page

    Guggenheim Presents Benjamin Staern's Chamber Opera

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 23rd, 2019

    The Works & Process series at the Guggenheim Museum is full of surprise and delight. The notion that one’s experience of art can be enhanced by music is not new. Yet in the case of Hilma af Klint, the exhibit of whose works has been the sensation of the New York art season, using a chamber opera to take us inside her experience, was enormously helpful for a better understanding of the woman and her work.

  • ONE Festival at Opera Omaha Front Page

    Philip Glass, Ellen Reid and Charles Gounod Featured

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 21st, 2019

    The ONE Festival of Opera Omaha celebrated its 2nd anniversary this year. It has already become a must visit for opera lovers throughout the world. The productions here are first rate. Bringing in James Darrah, who is a director of choice for many of the best young composers, has excited opera fans. This year did not disappoint.

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