Reviews

Things we didn't ask for: Winterreise at 21C

Things we didn't ask for: Winterreise at 21C

It was Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly, backed by Le Chimera Project - the unusual-for-Lieder band of clarinet, trombone, accordion, and violin - staged by director Roy Rallo. The group of artists seem to have come together precisely to develop this take on Schubert's Winterreise, and to do so from as blank an artistic slate as possible.

Jenna Simeonov
Hued Songs, where traditions collude and collide

Hued Songs, where traditions collude and collide

With 2020 underway, Hued Songs can only look forward to more exceptional work carving a unique and necessary sphere within the South Florida music scene. Moreover, Spirituals & Òrìṣàs should challenge the region’s longstanding classical music institutions to think innovatively in the new year.

Carly Gordon
Humbling theatre: Sweat

Humbling theatre: Sweat

"Their stories broke my heart and invited me to see the world from another's perspective; to be moved by people who I would not ordinarily encounter," writes Nottage of Sweat. "As a Black woman from Brooklyn I hadn't expected that I would be so profoundly moved by their predicament."

Jenna Simeonov
The Importance of Being Well-Recorded

The Importance of Being Well-Recorded

And ultimately, it's indicative of Castelnuovo-Tedesco's approach: he chooses to supplement the wordplay already present in the source, and when it works the result is delightfully cheeky in the best way. One need look no further than the way the music swells with the punchlines, the subversively domestic sounds he gets from his orchestra of two pianos and percussion, and the text setting that remains declamatory almost to a fault.

Arturo Fernandez
Beyond romantic love: La bohème at ROH

Beyond romantic love: La bohème at ROH

I was very much taken with Stuart Laing's production design. It felt quintessentially Parisian and conjured up all of the sights, smells, and senses one comes to expect but did so in a very understated way.

Alessia Naccarato
The Gypsy Baron: great singing leads TOT's holiday offering

The Gypsy Baron: great singing leads TOT's holiday offering

This year it's Johann Strauss II's The Gypsy Baron (Ziegeunerbaron). Directed by Silva-Marin with Music Direction by Derek Bate, The Gypsy Baron tells a classic operetta-style tale of a prodigal son, mistaken and hidden identities, prophecies, treasure, and of course, wine.

Greg Finney
A chilling Iago & a devoted Otello at Covent Garden

A chilling Iago & a devoted Otello at Covent Garden

Though Otello may be the title character and tragic hero of the story, in truth it is Iago who is the most alluring character on stage. For four hundred odd years, Shakespeare’s infamous villain has captured the imaginations of audiences everywhere. Spanish baritone Carlos Alvarez played him with chilling ease.

Alessia Naccarato
The singularity of Fauré in Oper Frankfurt's Pénélope

The singularity of Fauré in Oper Frankfurt's Pénélope

The men indiscriminately abuse Pénélope and the women of her kingdom, theatrically throwing them around like amateur wrestlers. Yet their violence succeeds as seduction and they are rewarded with sexual favors. The men are thinly drawn, each portraying a single affect – incredulity, apathy, viciousness and predation. The women are sexualized totems who have little effect on the larger story.

Jeremy Hirsch
Sondra's Three Queens earn "thunderous ovation" in Chicago

Sondra's Three Queens earn "thunderous ovation" in Chicago

Billed as selected excerpts from three operas, the event comes across on paper as a kind of combination Donizetti-teaser and superstar feature concert. Yet, the experience was remarkably gratifying artistically thanks not only to the operas’ shared backstories, but also to director Matthew Ozawa’s unity of concept through the scenes and, of course, Radvanovsky’s riveting portrayal of Anne Boleyn, Mary Stuart, and Elizabeth I.

Michael Pecak
Jones reflects Glass in ENO's Orphée

Jones reflects Glass in ENO's Orphée

Much like past productions I've seen at ENO, the singing was a bit of a mixed bag. Many of the characters were played by young singers at the beginning of their careers. Naturally, some flourished while others struggled to keep up.

Alessia Naccarato

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