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Rhythm or Reason

Political Music at the Apollo By · Photography Shahar Azran · Date 05/26/2016 It’s the question us politics writers have not stopped asking each other over the past year: when we talk about Donald Trump, even if it’s to point out something ridiculous about him, are we helping or hurting? The election cycle has proved […]

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Design Review

The Classical, The Pop, The Amateurish By and · Date 03/31/2016 For our series Design Review, we ask design professionals from outside the classical music industry to look at the visual side of things and give us their honest opinions. These comments resulted from a conversation between Laura Knoops and Hélène Mailloux last week, who […]

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Heartbeat Opera

Heartbeat Opera’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” By · Photography Russ Rowland · Date 03/31/2016 The issue with having a transformative experience in the arts is that it opens the door to a lifetime of disappointments. I fell completely for opera when I saw Natalie Dessay in Mary Zimmerman’s production of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” at the […]

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Broken Heartbeat

George Benjamin’s opera “Written On Skin” telescopes back and forth through past and present. Based on a vida of the 12th century Catalan troubadour Guillaume de Cabestanh, it takes place in a medieval world where books are precious objects, but references air travel, pornography, and modern feminism. The work, which premiered three years ago, makes […]

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Chorus and Orchestra of Generals

On North Korean Opera By · Date 02/18/2016 Kim Jong-il, the late Dear Leader of the People’s Republic of Korea, wrote six operas in two years. Not only that: according to one version of his official biography, they are all “better than any in the history of music.” Even accounting for the immodesty of dictators, […]