Posted inInterview

Title Change

Has New York’s Metropolitan Opera, led by manager Peter Gelb since 2006 and probably at once the most beloved and most hated institution in all of classical music, been going through an astonishing rough patch? Or has its visibility simply made it a lightning rod for systemic issues facing the entire field? The last seven […]

Posted inEssay

Method Singing

“Operatic performers quickly learn how to make a declaration of love, to suffer, to meditate, to die, and so on, and they repeat these forms in all analogous situations that they happen to be in. These are well-known, rubber-stamp effects. Nearly everyone knows them all, and speaks of them scornfully, yet…a majority of singers go […]

Posted inInterview

The Dream Place

I first met the director Barrie Kosky when he wrote me asking if I would help him conceive of a spectacular pageant to open the 2026 Gay Games, an LGBTQ+ sporting event that, at the time, the city of Munich was vying to host. Kosky had been engaged to develop the opening ceremonies if Munich […]

Posted inEssay

Metaphysical Relief

In September, the legendary German filmmaker, author, actor, opera director, and skateboarding-opinion-haver Werner Herzog turns 80. Herzog’s use of music in his films is noticeably more eclectic and more surprising than that of most of his director colleagues, according to our contributor Thomas von Steinaecker, who is currently finishing a documentary on the artist.  A […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

Not Even Past

Kronos Quartet, Rinde Eckert, Vân-Ánh Võ: “Mỹ Lai” (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) David T. Little, Royce Vavrek, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, NOVUS NY, Mellissa Hughes: “Am I Born” (Bright Shiny Things) Back in September 2016—in an only slightly saner world—novelist Lionel Shriver gave a keynote at the Brisbane Writers Festival. The festival’s organizers had […]

Posted inInterview

Is Wagner Addictive?

Lawrence D. Mass, M.D., is a retired specialist in addiction medicine and a cofounder of Gay Men’s Health Crisis. The first person to write about AIDS in the U.S. press, he is the author of Homosexuality and Sexuality: Dialogues of the Sexual Revolution, Volume 1, and Homosexuality as Behavior and Identity: Dialogues of The Sexual […]

Posted inReview

Song of the Goats

Watching a Yorgos Lanthimos film invariably leads to esoteric questions. Via “Dogtooth”: Why are you calling an armchair a “sea”? From “The Lobster”: If you had to be irreversibly changed into an animal, which one would you pick? And, thanks to Lanthimos’s new short, “Bleat,” co-commissioned by the Greek National Opera and cultural nonprofit NEON: […]

Posted inInterview

Love Seeps Through

South-African soprano Golda Schultz is a regular at the Met and at Bayerische Staatsoper. In 2020, she sang at the Last Night of the Proms; this season she made her debut with the New York Philharmonic.  With this career stability, she’s confronting the luxurious challenge of “moving the needle” for women composers and women’s stories. […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

The Polyhedral Spree

Ramon Lazkano, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, L’Instant Donnée, Johanna Zimmer, Manuel Nawri: “Diptyque Jabès” (Odradek) Les Siècles, François Xavier Roth, et. al.: ”Pelléas et Mélisande” (Harmonia Mundi) Kate Soper: “The Understanding of All Things” (New Focus Recordings) The Syrian poet and diplomat Nizar Qabbani wrote that words are like sparrows: they don’t require travel visas. I […]

Posted inOpinion

The Treachery of Images

Update Shortly after this article was published, the Metropolitan Opera announced that, after “not complying with the Met’s condition that she repudiate her public support for Vladimir Putin while he wages war on Ukraine, soprano Anna Netrebko has withdrawn from her upcoming Met performances in Puccini’s ‘Turandot’ this April and May, as well as the […]