October 16, 2015 |
Another triumph for Yannick Nézet-Séguin: The news leaked out Wednesday that the Philadelphia Orchestra music director is Musical America's Artist of the Year. The honor puts him on the cover of Musical America Worldwide: The International Directory of the Performing Arts, a phone-book-size $125 annual publication considered the bible of the classical music industry, a complete Who's Who and How to Find Them. "I am deeply and sincerely honored to accept this prestigious honor," said Nézet-Séguin in a statement released by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
October 16, 2015 |
With enough cameras trained on the Metropolitan Opera stage often enough, something historic is bound to be captured - and possibly was this month with the emotional uproar that greeted Dmitri Hvorostovsky's performance in Il Trovatore . It was the Oct. 3 opening of the Met's 10th season of HD simulcasts, which are seen in six Philadelphia-area cinemas. The celebrated Siberian baritone was returning after treatments for a brain tumor. Too professional to break character, he fought back a smile while the audience cheered his first entrance.
September 25, 2015 |
NEW YORK - The Metropolitan Opera doesn't always get out its big guns for the season's opening. But Monday's gala occasion was a new production of Verdi's Otello - one of those pieces that can truly fill the Met's hero-size auditorium, this time with musical thunderbolts engineered by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Production and casting weren't entirely successful. Much discussion was heard about the executive ruling that the Moorish title character would no longer appear in blackface.
August 13, 2015
ISSUE | ABORTION Case without merit Marybeth Hagan's argument to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides high-quality women's health services of all kinds - including screenings and prenatal care - is based on heavily edited videos in which the disposal of fetal tissue is discussed by agency executives and researchers ("Ugly truths about Planned Parenthood," Aug. 9). At no point does Hagan concede that the fetal tissue would otherwise have to be disposed of as biologically active waste - usually through incineration - as is routinely done with other surgical waste.
October 24, 2013 |
To say Ken Ludwig's 1986 farce Lend Me a Tenor is enjoying something of a resurgence is to ignore its ongoing popularity. It's one of the most-produced contemporary farces, and its 2010 Broadway revival spawned a flurry of regional activity. Bud Martin, who directed Act II Playhouse's entry last season, found it so nice he decided to mount it twice, importing much of that cast for Delaware Theatre Company's current production. And why not? Tony Braithwaite has proved his mettle on area stages as a farceur extraordinaire, with lightning timing and a performance style loose enough to allow for ad-libbing during inevitable bedding/running/door-slamming mishaps.
December 7, 2012 |
'Well, the singing was good. " Such were the comments heard after opening night of the Metropolitan Opera's latest foray into operatic controversy with its new, mid-to-high-concept production of Un Ballo in Maschera , though in this case, the above-mentioned praise isn't faint at all. The David Alden production, which has been running for the last month, will be beamed live to six area movie theaters at 12:55 p.m. Saturday, and is likely...
October 5, 2010 |
Some operas demand to be heard despite their extraordinary risk factor. Bellini's Norma is one, Verdi's Otello is another, both standing like peaks to be climbed if only because they are there. Though Opera Company of Philadelphia fares better in its current Otello than in past seasons with Norma , Otello still requires faith - or at least it did at its Friday Academy of Music opening. Producing an Aida -size opera in the current economy is bound to involve corner cutting, and that was immediately apparent in the refurbished Paul Shortt-designed production dating back to director Robert B. Driver's past life with the Indianapolis and Syracuse opera companies (and a reminder of Driver's less-distinguished early Philadelphia years)
October 1, 2010
Giuseppe Verdi's love for Shakespeare overcame his reluctance, at age 66, to write another challenging opera. "Otello," with libretto by Arrigo Boito, was a masterpiece, a deeply compelling drama with stunning music. This is the first "Otello" in the Opera Company of Philadelphia 's 35-year history, with the role of the Moor sung by tenor Clifton Forbis . ( Allan Glassman steps into the role for Sunday's performance.) French soprano Norah Amsellem is Desdemona, with baritone Mark Delavan as Iago and tenor Jason Collins as Cassio.
September 26, 2010 |
The cost of producing Shakespeare rarely comes with a discount, financially or psychologically. Even after 400 years of unbroken performance histories, the plays keep demanding more. "Not a piece you do just any day," says Robert Driver of Verdi's Otello - the one operatic adaptation of Shakespeare that harnesses the full power of the original - which he's directing in its first Opera Company of Philadelphia production, opening Friday at the Academy of Music. Across Broad Street, the Wilma Theater's co-artistic director, Blanka Zizka, is staging her first Shakespearean play, Macbeth , but says she might as well be doing an opera, with simultaneous rehearsals for fights, dialogue, music, and witches - all of which will come together in its first preview performance Wednesday.
July 30, 2006 |
For the first time since Enrico Caruso sang into a recording horn in 1902, home opera consumption is shifting: Once heard but only occasionally seen on the home front, opera can now roar out of laptops and widescreen TVs in Surround Sound and high-definition pictures via DVDs, which are no longer an afterthought to compact discs, and are quickly becoming the ruling format. "Studio recordings of opera have become prohibitively expensive. . . . The likelihood of seeing many more is pretty much nil," says Mark Forlow, vice president of EMI and Virgin Classics in New York.