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Otello

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ENTERTAINMENT
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.
NEWS
September 23, 1987 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
The Metropolitan Opera House is often derided for being a star factory and, worse, a museum for the tried-and-true. Indeed, it has become fashionable in certain circles to use the phrase "turning into a museum" to mean the establishment's over-reliance on music of any time but our own - a fair complaint but, given the adventurousness of some of our art museums, an unfair analogy. Such thoughts were prompted by the Met's choice of Verdi's 100-year-old Otello to open its 105th season Monday night.
NEWS
September 25, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
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.
NEWS
April 18, 2016 | By Peter Dobrin, Music Critic
Will a seismic movement on the podium of the Metropolitan Opera have reverberations in Philadelphia? Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, has been frequently seen as a prime candidate to succeed James Levine, whose shift to music director emeritus after a four-decade tenure was announced Thursday in New York by the Met. But apart from whether the Met actually offers the job to Nézet-Séguin, the Philadelphia Orchestra...
NEWS
July 10, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, Classical Music Critic
Could the timing possibly be better? Only weeks after his Metropolitan Opera appointment, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has come out with the latest installment of his series of Mozart opera recordings from Deutsche Grammophon, and it's the piece long regarded with the most affection - The Marriage of Figaro . It joins a cluster of on-demand Nézet-Séguin videos that includes the Shostakovich Symphony No. 13 on the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital...
NEWS
June 5, 1987 | BY JACK MCKINNEY
It's established wisdom that nothing succeeds like success, but the flip side of the truism is that nothing draws lightning like success, either. A good example of this paradox is Italian director Franco Zeffirelli, whose success at popularizing grand opera through the medium of film invariably draws lightning bolts from the critics. Zeffirelli's plight came to mind while I was preparing a program for WDVT- AM this afternoon about that South Philadelphia operatic institution, Di Stefano's Victor Cafe, with such guests as Armand Di Stefano, of the founding family, and Guido di Giuseppe, who plays the recordings that recreate the golden age of opera every weekend in the cozy trattoria at 13th and Dickinson.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2013 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
October 16, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 1993 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The Metropolitan Opera used tenor envy to its advantage, opening its season with a fund-raising gala that featured Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti in starring roles. Both tenors on Monday were marking the 25th anniversary of their debuts at the Met, and the Met's administrators found a way to give them equal time by casting each in a starring role for one act of different operas and then playing a little joke in the scene from Il Trovatore that closed the evening. The negotiations that produced the events seen on stage must have matched those that brought Israel and the PLO together, for tenor envy is a force that surges through every aspect of opera.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
'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...
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NEWS
August 21, 2016
Sunday Opera gratis Verdi was persuaded to come out of retirement to write what became his penultimate opera, Otello , based on Shakespeare's drama of jealousy, treachery, and revenge. The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival presents a preview performance of its production at 2 p.m. at the Free Library, 1901 Vine St. Admission is free. Call 215-567-4341. Monday Fringe is coming Can't wait for the Fringe Festival to arrive in September? Get a look at what's on the bill with Scratch Night , featuring short theater and dance sets by Fail Better Productions , the Phenomenal Animals , Revolution Shakespeare , Medium Theatre Company , Almanac Dance Circus Theater , Irina Varina , and LeeAnn Mallorie . The show goes on at 7 p.m. at the Rotunda , 4014 Walnut St. Admission is free.
NEWS
July 10, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, Classical Music Critic
Could the timing possibly be better? Only weeks after his Metropolitan Opera appointment, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has come out with the latest installment of his series of Mozart opera recordings from Deutsche Grammophon, and it's the piece long regarded with the most affection - The Marriage of Figaro . It joins a cluster of on-demand Nézet-Séguin videos that includes the Shostakovich Symphony No. 13 on the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital...
NEWS
April 18, 2016 | By Peter Dobrin, Music Critic
Will a seismic movement on the podium of the Metropolitan Opera have reverberations in Philadelphia? Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, has been frequently seen as a prime candidate to succeed James Levine, whose shift to music director emeritus after a four-decade tenure was announced Thursday in New York by the Met. But apart from whether the Met actually offers the job to Nézet-Séguin, the Philadelphia Orchestra...
NEWS
October 16, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
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.
NEWS
October 16, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
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.
NEWS
September 25, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
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.
NEWS
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2013 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
'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...
NEWS
October 5, 2010 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
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)
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