September 11, 2013 |
TEEN HEARTTHROB Louis Tomlinson spilled his guts yesterday. Tomlinson, one-fifth of pop powerhouse One Direction, was playing in a charity soccer game in Glasgow, Scotland, when he took a rough tackle from Gabriel Agbonlahor , a pro soccer player for England's Aston Villa. The impact was so rough on the boy-band star that he was escorted to the sidelines, where he promptly vomited. Little Louis is all fine and dandy now, but Agbonlahor drew massive criticism from One Direction's army of screaming fans.
February 23, 2012 |
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Seasoned composers have written far worse operas than Rufus Wainwright's maiden effort, Prima Donna . Much of the music is simply beautiful. Never does it sound like a cheap pop opera or a series of strung-together songs. It is a true opera. Yet Prima Donna's U.S. premiere this week by the New York City Opera is generating an operatic tempest with no critical consensus in sight. Popular, charismatic, and breezily audacious, singer/songwriter Wainwright, 38, is either a hero or an interloper, depending on who's listening.
February 6, 2012
Patricia Neway, 92, an opera singer who won a Tony in 1960 for her role as the Mother Abbess in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music , died Jan. 24 at her home in East Corinth, Vt. A dramatic soprano, Ms. Neway was known as an interpreter of new work by 20th-century composers. She moved seamlessly between the opera house and the Broadway stage. She had a long association with Gian Carlo Menotti. As Magda Sorel, the oppressed heroine of his opera The Consul , in its original production, she drew glowing notices from critics and ovations from audiences.
January 19, 2012 |
NEW YORK - In a last-ditch effort to save one of America's cultural institutions, unions representing the New York City Opera have reached tentative agreements that could pump new life into a company teetering on the financial brink. "New York City Opera is open for business," general manager George Steel announced Wednesday. "We are thrilled to be able to present innovative opera with the best artists in the world. " In a statement, he said the proposed new contracts will "ensure our financial solvency.
February 10, 2011 |
Late in life, Leonard Bernstein was lamenting at some social gathering that, despite all the music he'd written, he seemed to be known only for West Side Story . To which one wag supposedly replied, "Better that than A Quiet Place . " The punch line refers to his much-anticipated 1983 opera, which left audiences and critics acutely uncomfortable: After he'd announced opera projects from Lolita to the story of St. Francis of Assisi (both...
July 3, 2007 |
Beverly Sills, 78, one of the greatest and most distinctive opera singers to emerge in the United States in the 20th century, died yesterday of cancer, her manager said. Ms. Sills' inoperable lung cancer was made public just last month. She died about 9 o'clock last night, said her manager, Edgar Vincent. Although Ms. Sills retired from performing 27 years ago, she never ceased to be a crucial figure: Shortly before retirement, she became the administrative head of the New York City Opera, the company that had nurtured her, and saved it from financial ruin.
November 2, 2004 |
So much genius, so little opera. Good or bad, Haroun and the Sea of Stories was bound to be at least chewy when unveiled at its world premiere Sunday at the New York City Opera. And it was. But did the creative troika consisting of the long-revered talents - novelist Salman Rushdie, composer Charles Wuorinen, and poet James Fenton - know much about writing for the theater? Typically, such a question wouldn't have arisen as early in the opera as it did; given what these creative figures have done before, any of their work is likely to demand your indulgence by the weight of its expression.
September 11, 2004 |
Sometimes, you shoot something out of a cannon and it actually hits the bull's-eye. Even more remarkable is when that something is an airy-fairy opera. Daphne, one of Richard Strauss' most infrequently seen or heard stage works, opened the New York City Opera season Wednesday in a brand-new production, playing with more immediacy than you could ever expect from a stage full of nymphs, shepherds and gods. And it sounded better than anything in the opera's ragtag discography. Though the vocal demands have defeated so many sopranos that Wolfgang Sawallisch refused to conduct a concert version of the opera during his Philadelphia Orchestra tenure, Elizabeth Futral's vocal tour de force in Daphne should put her on the opera map in ways she deserved to be years ago. In this, its first New York production, the opera emerged as a significant compositional effort applied to an obliquely motivated foray into Greek myth: A tree-hugging maiden spurns suitors (Apollo among them)
September 11, 2003 |
You're born naked; the rest is drag. That truism, widely attributed to drag icon RuPaul, applied to opera long before the Philadelphia Fringe Festival presented the cross-dressing chanteuse Shequida, whose one-person show, Opera for Dummies, opened Monday. Almost on cue, the New York City Opera began its season Tuesday with more institutionalized drag in Handel's 1735 opera, Alcina, whose primary love interest is between a woman playing a man and a woman trying to pass for a man. So you have two women dressed like men, deeply in love and pretending to be heterosexual.
March 16, 2003 |
Verdi's Macbeth, after a certain point, becomes a matter of blood: what color and how much? It's a keystone issue in any production. The Zurich Opera, for example, prefers a lurid shade of green. The Opera Company of Philadelphia, traditionalist that it is, sticks to basic red. How much blood, though, is the question that was extensively discussed by two of the dominating members in Philadelphia's current production at the Academy of Music. Blood, in this story, equals guilt. Put a lot of it on Lady Macbeth, and she's not just an accomplice in murder, but maybe has finished up what her husband started.