Gilliam’s brilliant, bonkers Berlioz @ ENO

Music · Reviews
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Bombastic imaginations, bonkers juxtapositions, no attention to rules of deportment, and energy without limit.  It would seem that Hector Berlioz and Terry Gilliam are a match made.. well, somewhere .. but certainly for each other.  Following the wild and wooly success of his Damnation of Faust in 2011, Gilliam has trained his most particular talents ...

ENO ‘Cosi’ conjured at Coney Island

Music
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How do you solve a problem like Cosi — Mozart’s Job-like musical glory of messing with the minds of two women on a bet, just to prove that they’re “like that”? In the words of Peter Sellars, prior to his revisionist diner production more than twenty years ago: “Is this the most offensive anti-feminist opera ...

Flirting with Fascism, Sinatra: ENO’s Rodelinda

Music · Reviews
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I’d been away from London, in New York, for Rodelinda’s Coliseum premiere but heard such good things about it that I arranged for one of its last performances and am so glad I did. Beyond the grace of Handel’s music conducted by baroque specialist Christopher Curnyn and played with usual panache by a reduced English ...

‘The Magic Flute’ at English National Opera

Music · Reviews
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Opera lovers in London have any numbers of possibilities. We can go mammoth:  Aida in the Royal Albert Hall for an audience of 3500 with singers and orchestra miked to the max; or miniscule: the prizing-winning Opera Up Close at the Kings Head Theatre Pub in Islington for 110, its Prohibition-set Traviata currently running until ...

Opera occupies Union Station 1

Architecture & Design · Music · Reviews · Theater
The overture ended, a set of heavy double doors opened, and into Union Station spilled the opera audience. As the group dispersed, some displayed trepidation in their quest for the singers heard in their headsets. Others eschewed the life-sized version of Where’s Waldo: One couple made a beeline for the bar; ordering a bottle of ...

The perils of Pauline Schindler 1

Architecture & Design · Language & ideas · Music · Reviews
In an early letter, Pauline Schindler wrote, “One of my dreams, Mother, is to have, someday, a little joy of a bungalow, on the edge of the woods and mountains near a crowded city, which shall be open just as some people’s hearts are open, to friends of all classes and types… Surely the mother ...

At Santa Fe Opera, not “Oscar”-worthy 2

Music · Reviews
Ascending the hallowed hilltop upon which Santa Fe Opera roosts is a treasured journey — even for the initiated. The massive parking lot is sprinkled with “tailgaters,” their fold-out picnic tables draped in linen, wine bottles atilt in ice buckets. It’s the first visual hint of a wonderful evening in store. Outdoor “lobbies” that encircle ...

The opera Pusherman

Music
Curtis Mayfield was a genius and “Pusherman” perhaps his greatest composition. Someone should develop it into an opera.

“Patty The Revival” at Highways. Smart and wonderful. Go! 1

Reviews · Theater
Unlike the 28-year-old theater wunderkind Patrick Kennelly, whose electro-opera “Patty the Revival” I very much enjoyed at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica last night, I was a vulnerable ten-year-old sponge when “The Patty Duke Show” hit the airwaves circa 1964. Ka-thunk. That’s the sound of television pablum landing on my undefended prepubescent brain. And ...

Donizetti doubled up at the Met

Music
From our Maine correspondent, the Colby College history professor Paul Josephson, who sends breaking opera news on this grey Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles  — While listening to Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore,” on “Live at the Met” [broadcast] today, and after “Una furtive lagrima,” to wild applause some one screamed out, “Encore!” and Juan Diego Florez ...