Reviews

Video premiere: "The Mystery of the World" according to Julia Dawson

Video premiere: "The Mystery of the World" according to Julia Dawson

Dawson is committed to video. "These videos were a way that we could come together as a community and make musical offerings to people in the midst of the pandemic. By embracing the constraints of 2020 and leaning into the medium of video, I've seen the richness of expressive possibility that is available."

John Hohmann
OperaUpClose Presents ‘Songs of Solace and Spring’

OperaUpClose Presents ‘Songs of Solace and Spring’

How inspiring to think that even despite our limitations, creativity has a hard time being quelled. If you are craving some relief from the monotony of your day or are in need of a pause to enjoy some music, both concerts are currently streaming and are available to watch until May 13th.

Alessia Naccarato
Les Délices presents Women of Genius in the Ancien Régime

Les Délices presents Women of Genius in the Ancien Régime

The star of this particular show, composer Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, was hardly left in the shadows. Having gained the support of Lous XIV, she was highly visible with frequent performance of her work. More importantly she enjoyed the rare privilege of having her work published.

John Hohmann
Overlapping Stories Fall on the House of Usher

Overlapping Stories Fall on the House of Usher

The additions are debatable but the film stands as a considerable artistic achievement and is testament to the resilience of opera in the pandemic era. At its core it is quite a luxury in and of itself.

John Hohmann
Confessions: Art Songs That Are Deeply Personal

Confessions: Art Songs That Are Deeply Personal

When contemplating the content for Confessions, soprano, Laura Strickling's recent recording of contemporary art songs by American composers, all of whom occupy the highest ranks of the genre, she was guided by a keen ear for quality and vocal suitability. She was also guided by a commitment to create, out of these fragile entities, a strong and satisfying musical program.

John Hohmann
Stardust a strong highlight of POC talent

Stardust a strong highlight of POC talent

It is a journey that does evolve over the course of the three songs, and textually speaking it is such an interesting journey I honestly wish there were more songs devoted to it.

Arturo Fernandez
COT's Rimsky Rebooted features local artists & "collective grit"

COT's Rimsky Rebooted features local artists & "collective grit"

In a recent Zoom conversation, Yankovskaya's pride and enthusiasm in the COT administrative and artistic staff was evident from the start. She praised their collective grit, acknowledging that their upcoming digital release, Rimsky Rebooted represents not just a "Plan B" pivot from live performance, but is rather a "5th or maybe 7th reimagining" of what they hoped to originally present to Chicago audiences.

Hannah De Priest
Amici e Rivali: Two gentlemen and friendly rivalry in Verona

Amici e Rivali: Two gentlemen and friendly rivalry in Verona

Some listeners may prefer moderation when it comes to the tenor based pyrotechnics that ignite this recording. Soaring high notes and vivid vocal coloring create sure-fire thrills but thrills depend on relative rarity and risk being diminished by such concentrated exposure.

John Hohmann
An embarrassment of riches: The Sopranos of Winnipeg

An embarrassment of riches: The Sopranos of Winnipeg

I'm going to write this as a live-blog, as one of the advantages of attending virtually is you can type as you listen, instead of having to remember all your thoughts from the concert!

Neil Weisensel
"Bewitched" by Les Délices: Captivating in Cleveland

"Bewitched" by Les Délices: Captivating in Cleveland

Nagy and her group appear in the perfect environment for their naturalistic style of video that revels in dramatic fades to black, subtle cross fades and deft use of camerawork and lighting. The passing from day to night, from a sun-filled hall to one of intense lighting and dramatic shadow, is visually alluring.

John Hohmann

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