August 7, 1992 |
Goethe's epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther is as good an introduction as you'll ever get to the spirit of German romanticism - to the quests and passion that rage through 19th-century art, literature and music. Goethe wrote his book in 1774. Its confessional, soul-wrestling hero was artistically revolutionary. Although its subject details spiritual angst and excess - Werther, poet, painter and manic-depressive, kills himself for love of the married Lotte - the telling of the tale is lucid and direct.
August 10, 1992 |
A shale-gray cloud shaped like a shark lurks under a yellow moon. A white moon, lithe as a dancer, slips into chiffon-thin clouds. A half-moon, curved like an ear, beckons over a stand of tall cedars. Boredom is never a problem at performances of the Santa Fe Opera, whose open-air theater is nestled beneath the imposing Sangre de Cristo mountains. If tedium threatens, you can just look up at the spectacular sky above the New Mexican desert. No wonder the company, now in its 36th season, has a reputation for presenting visually polished, arresting productions.
August 16, 1990 |
The rich sound of music filled the hospital lobby in Albuquerque, N.M., as members of the Santa Fe Opera performed for Linnea Saffran of Swarthmore. "It was wonderful," said Saffran's father, Bernard. "She really enjoyed it enormously. " The special performance was arranged after the Sante Fe Opera learned that the 19-year-old woman, who has a brain tumor, would be unable to attend a performance of La Boheme last week. Saffran, a graduate of Strath Haven High School, in Nether Providence Township, left Aug. 6 for a dream vacation to New Mexico and a trip to the opera.
January 28, 2016 |
Ott for 'Cold Mountain' The most hotly awaited event of the opera season just got a new leading man. Cold Mountain , the years-in-the-works Jennifer Higdon opera based on Charles Frazier 's 1997 Civil War-era novel, was written with star baritone Nathan Gunn in mind - but he has been replaced by up-and-coming Jarrett Ott . Gunn withdrew from the Feb. 5-14 run at the Academy of Music. His stated reason was family illness. "It is in the best interest of my family, Opera Philadelphia, my colleagues, and me personally that I withdraw from February's performances of Cold Mountain ," Gunn said in a statement Opera Philadelphia released.
August 10, 1990 |
Performers with the Santa Fe Opera are determined to make a dream come true for Linnea Saffran of Swarthmore. Saffran, 19, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year, flew to New Mexico earlier this week for a dream vacation to the desert and a trip to the opera. But the young musician's visit to the opera had to be put on hold when she suffered a seizure Monday night and was admitted to Lovelace Medical Center in Albuquerque. When the news reached members of the Santa Fe Opera, they decided that if she couldn't come to the opera, they would go to her. The principal cast members of La Boheme have offered to go to her hospital room and entertain her, Kevin Schwebke, a spokesman for the opera, said yesterday.
August 16, 1992 |
If you get weary of the highbrow evenings at the opera here, there's always Rodeo Nights, a dance hall on strip-mall Cerrillos Road where the music is also plaintive and potent. Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart" pours from the disc jockey's stand, as girls in flounced skirts are whirled by guys in cowboy hats, string ties and shirts with silver buttons. If you thought opera singers were stuffy, think again. Rodeo Nights is where many of the Santa Fe Opera singers spend Sunday nights, the only night the prestigious house - one of the nation's most respected for opera - is dark.
August 23, 1995 |
Benita Valente, the most prominent artist singing at the Santa Fe Opera this season, was diligently scouring aisle three at the Santa Fe Flea Market, where pots, pans, boot spurs, even an urn meant for someone's ashes, rested alongside finely wrought, expensive jewelry. Valente, who lives in Philadelphia, passed up the glass-enclosed case of designer bracelets for a more modest display of vintage costume jewelry. "How much?" she asked, fingering a pair of '40s-style twist-back earrings.
April 17, 2016
"Cold Mountain," the premiere, on record. A few different singers make last year's Santa Fe Opera premiere of the Jennifer Higdon/ Gene Scheer opera - as heard on the newly released Pentatone recording - far more than just a dry run for the later Opera Philadelphia outing in February. For one thing, you're not forced to look at the compromised set design in Santa Fe. For another, Nathan Gunn generates much vocal magnetism in the central role of Inman, even if his Philadelphia replacement, Jarrett Ott, filled in for him more than capably.
February 5, 2016 |
Gunshots rang out backstage at the Academy of Music. Yet Opera Philadelphia's leading baritone, Jarrett Ott, kept talking as if nothing had happened. "That's pretty typical for us," he explained. "Gun practice. " The opera is Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain , and the academy's production opens Friday. Excitement is high: A week before opening, ticket sales already had surpassed those of both Oscar and Ainadamar (new operas from previous seasons). It's an adaptation of the Charles Frazier novel about Civil War Confederate deserter W.P. Inman.
August 23, 1995 |
Contemporary opera seems embarrassed by an aria, the device that enables characters to reflect upon their feelings, and Modern Painters is no exception. The work about John Ruskin that the Santa Fe Opera commissioned from composer David Lang and librettist Manuela Hoelterhoff and premiered earlier this month gives its attractive principals lots of narrative declamation but rather flimsy little tunes to sing. What a paradox, given the reams of lyrical, often effusive, prose that Ruskin penned exalting the joys of nature and art. The English critic who extolled J.M.W.