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NEWS
August 26, 1988 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
Berlioz's Beatrice and Benedict asks more than the usual impossibilities of opera singers. In addition to requiring voices able to finesse grandly florid arias and intricate ensembles, in addition to requiring characterizations credible enough to suggest those in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing - on which the opera is based - Beatrice and Benedict expects its singers to speak great chunks of Shakespeare's blank verse. That last challenge is one that most performers in the American theater have not yet mastered.
NEWS
August 8, 1990 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
As operas go, Intermezzo by Richard Strauss paints a portrait of a woman that is so unflattering, it surpasses even the dementia of the composer's Salome and Elektra. If one has ever cringed over the vexatious nature of Pauline Strauss as sketched in her husband's tone poem, Ein Heldenleben, or Symphonia Domestica, this opera domestica, based on a foolish incident that once pushed the Strausses to the brink of divorce, exposes far more of the sour-tongued shrew. Christine, Intermezzo's very antagonistic protagonist, is the wife of famous composer Robert Storch.
NEWS
August 3, 1992 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Benjamin Britten's literary tastes were as astute as his musical ones. And one of the joys of encountering a Britten opera is being able to revisit compelling tales - such as Herman Melville's Billy Budd and Thomas Mann's Death in Venice - without having to sacrifice the integrity of the author's vision. A visit to the Glimmerglass Opera's excellent new production of The Turn of the Screw on Thursday reminded us of Britten's ability to translate into music masters such as Melville - and particularly Henry James, for whom the English composer had an uncanny affinity.
NEWS
August 15, 1991 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
Since building its first permanent house here five years ago, the Glimmerglass Opera has gained confidence and deepened qualities that are reflected by its lovely pastoral home. Professionalism and a splendidly unpretentious aesthetic defined the Alice Busch Opera Theater from the start - its pale-wood exterior fitting with Shaker simplicity into the surrounding hills. It seats only 900, so its sightlines and acoustics are hospitable to singer and listener. It is a hall that Philadelphians, who endure opera in a variety of make-do spaces, can't help coveting.
LIVING
August 8, 2000 | By David Patrick Stearns, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Although there are those who say opera can never be cool, the mind boggles when asked to consider what would be the height of operatic uncool. One of those retro-Wagner productions with fat women in ill-fitting horned helmets? An overblown Franco Zeffirelli production of Amahl and the Night Visitors? An operetta by John Philip Sousa? Surprise: The latter entity is indeed in our midst and is the hit of the Glimmerglass Opera's summer season. The title is The Glass Blowers, and is one of Sousa's 21 stage works.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 8, 1996 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
A Sunday morning lecture on baroque opera may seem a bit of a yawn, but a talk here a couple of weeks ago about Francesco Cavalli's La Calisto drew more than several dozen people. Listening and nodding attentively, they appeared intrigued during a discussion centering on the opera's sexual intrigues. The talk on La Calisto, one of four works the Glimmerglass Opera is presenting here through Aug. 26, was offered by Ellen Rosand, a musicologist from Yale, and David Rosand, her husband and an art historian from Columbia University.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 22, 2008 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Lincoln Center Festival's centerpiece event is taking shape nowhere near its West Side headquarters - or in anything resembling a theater. Instead, the infrequently staged Bernd Alois Zimmermann opera Die Soldaten will unfold, starting July 5, inside the Park Avenue Armory on a 25-ton foundation suggesting a world within a world. Festival director Nigel Redden popped into the construction site a few days ago, and his incredulous reaction wasn't printable. "I'd been away for a few days, walked in and thought to myself, 'Who had the idea to do this?
NEWS
November 1, 2005 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Word travels emphatically in opera circles, and the one most often associated with the New York City Opera's current run of The Mines of Sulphur is a terse, imperative "Go. " The opera is unknown to most, the cast is solid but not starry, and the composer, Richard Rodney Bennett, is best known for film scores to Enchanted April and Far From the Madding Crowd. Yet, not only is this a worthy, fully substantial piece, but it has two elements rarely delivered in opera: sex and suspense.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 10, 1998 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Carlisle Floyd's opera Of Mice and Men opened Saturday at the New York City Opera with an air of triumph. The opera had a long and bumpy road to its premiere in 1970 in Seattle, mirroring the 72-year-old Floyd's own road to grudging recognition as the leading voice in 20th-century American opera. Now, the opera has leapt from question mark to classic as attitudes have reshaped themselves about what opera really is. Opera is, for Floyd, universal themes embodied by ordinary characters moving in a musical plan that naturally absorbs opera's tradition of melody, arias, duets and coherent scenes focused on expressing emotion.
NEWS
August 25, 1987 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
"I'm probably a foolish optimist, but it's a part of my nature that I can't do anything about," says Paul Kellogg, general director of the Glimmerglass Opera. Blink and you'd miss the narrow, walkup office where he sits taking stock of his company. It's one block from the Baseball Hall of Fame, on a Main Street as striking for its sports-dominated storefronts as for its pleasing turn-of-the century houses. Eight miles outside this gracious resort town, founded in 1786 by James Fenimore Cooper's father, the Glimmerglass Opera two months ago opened the Alice Busch Opera Theater, an edifice of which Kellogg and his 13-year-old regional company can well be proud.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
April 19, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Depending on the day, hour, and minute, Michelle Johnson is either living the dream or enduring a nightmare. The velvet-voiced soprano, 29, is the latest slated-for-stardom singer to come out of Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts, and was anticipating a relatively light spring schedule to prepare for her first Aida at the Glimmerglass Opera this summer. Then the Opera Company of Philadelphia suddenly needed a replacement soprano for the title role of Puccini's Manon Lescaut.
NEWS
July 15, 2008 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
For all of this community's affluence, superb venues, and ample IQ points, opera hasn't been the most dependable presence here, though this fifth season of Opera New Jersey may be a positive turning point. The opening-weekend productions of La Traviata and La Cenerentola filled the niche of quality summer opera in a congenial chamber setting more successfully than ever before. It's true that sets are mostly borrowed and costumes rented - with a corps of emerging artists (many from Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts)
ENTERTAINMENT
June 22, 2008 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Lincoln Center Festival's centerpiece event is taking shape nowhere near its West Side headquarters - or in anything resembling a theater. Instead, the infrequently staged Bernd Alois Zimmermann opera Die Soldaten will unfold, starting July 5, inside the Park Avenue Armory on a 25-ton foundation suggesting a world within a world. Festival director Nigel Redden popped into the construction site a few days ago, and his incredulous reaction wasn't printable. "I'd been away for a few days, walked in and thought to myself, 'Who had the idea to do this?
NEWS
November 1, 2005 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Word travels emphatically in opera circles, and the one most often associated with the New York City Opera's current run of The Mines of Sulphur is a terse, imperative "Go. " The opera is unknown to most, the cast is solid but not starry, and the composer, Richard Rodney Bennett, is best known for film scores to Enchanted April and Far From the Madding Crowd. Yet, not only is this a worthy, fully substantial piece, but it has two elements rarely delivered in opera: sex and suspense.
NEWS
October 19, 2004 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Comedy from centuries past operates on the same precepts as last night's sitcom. But translating them to the more arcane operatic stage is what makes opera buffa - even if it's, like Donizetti's Don Pasquale, the best of the bunch - one of the least reliable genres out there. You can't help but want the comic sharpness of Seinfeld, even if opera exists in a different time zone. So rather than make Don Pasquale and its outdated character types cohere to the rules of our world, the Opera Company of Philadelphia is inviting audiences to go time-traveling.
LIVING
August 8, 2000 | By David Patrick Stearns, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Although there are those who say opera can never be cool, the mind boggles when asked to consider what would be the height of operatic uncool. One of those retro-Wagner productions with fat women in ill-fitting horned helmets? An overblown Franco Zeffirelli production of Amahl and the Night Visitors? An operetta by John Philip Sousa? Surprise: The latter entity is indeed in our midst and is the hit of the Glimmerglass Opera's summer season. The title is The Glass Blowers, and is one of Sousa's 21 stage works.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 17, 1999 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Richard Strauss' Intermezzo could be regarded as a forerunner of Hollywood's The Truman Show. In the opera Strauss serves up real life as theater, portraying himself, his wife and son in a domestic snapshot taken from a contretemps in their own lives. The staged work had never reached New York until Tuesday when the New York City Opera opened its English language production of the work. Like many new works this company presents, it had its first outing at the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, where the City Opera's general director, Paul Kellogg, produces in the summer.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 10, 1998 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Carlisle Floyd's opera Of Mice and Men opened Saturday at the New York City Opera with an air of triumph. The opera had a long and bumpy road to its premiere in 1970 in Seattle, mirroring the 72-year-old Floyd's own road to grudging recognition as the leading voice in 20th-century American opera. Now, the opera has leapt from question mark to classic as attitudes have reshaped themselves about what opera really is. Opera is, for Floyd, universal themes embodied by ordinary characters moving in a musical plan that naturally absorbs opera's tradition of melody, arias, duets and coherent scenes focused on expressing emotion.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 8, 1996 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
A Sunday morning lecture on baroque opera may seem a bit of a yawn, but a talk here a couple of weeks ago about Francesco Cavalli's La Calisto drew more than several dozen people. Listening and nodding attentively, they appeared intrigued during a discussion centering on the opera's sexual intrigues. The talk on La Calisto, one of four works the Glimmerglass Opera is presenting here through Aug. 26, was offered by Ellen Rosand, a musicologist from Yale, and David Rosand, her husband and an art historian from Columbia University.
NEWS
August 3, 1992 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Benjamin Britten's literary tastes were as astute as his musical ones. And one of the joys of encountering a Britten opera is being able to revisit compelling tales - such as Herman Melville's Billy Budd and Thomas Mann's Death in Venice - without having to sacrifice the integrity of the author's vision. A visit to the Glimmerglass Opera's excellent new production of The Turn of the Screw on Thursday reminded us of Britten's ability to translate into music masters such as Melville - and particularly Henry James, for whom the English composer had an uncanny affinity.
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