Posted inInterview

Unfurling the Image

Have you heard a concert, seen a play, or watched an opera, any time in the last 30 years? (Or read VAN?) If so, you’ve probably come across a photograph by Monika Rittershaus. She’s one of Europe’s best and most in-demand theater photographers, working with leading houses, conductors and directors. Rittershaus is the first choice—and […]

Posted inInterview

A Point in the Soul

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Brian Greis, a retired obstetrician-gynecologist who lives with his husband in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, attended some 200 classical concerts a year and spent up to eight out of 12 months on the road traveling to attend performances. Greis never harbored serious ambitions of being a classical musician, but since his childhood […]

Posted inEssay

Quarter Rest with Fermata

Quarter Rest with Fermatafor Richard R. Schantz On this dayin the Weih-nocturne glowof this roomful of rhombicuboctahedronsthe real augmented by reflection time isn’t ordinary. Right on cue(you always said to anticipate entrances in light of narrative)there you areby your crystal fountain, posing unanswered questionsd’arte, d’amoreexposition, disclo(the)sure(your Sprechstimme unequivocalstill strictly, stubbornly non-rhotic). You extend, generouslyarsis, thesisup and down, […]

Posted inPlaylist

A Metropolitan Opera Playlist

If you’d like to drive an ice-pick through your eye but are short on equipment, the New York Times comments section is often a good virtual substitute. Case in point: The 700-plus responses to the paper’s coverage of the Metropolitan Opera’s decision to focus future seasons on more new works and living composers, citing sold-out […]

Posted inInterview

God Sing Through Me

For a long time, the world of opera was blindingly white—until soprano Camilla Williams became the first Black singer to perform on a major American opera stage. In 1946, she made her debut at the New York City Opera as Madame Butterfly, opening a door that had been closed to people of color up until […]

Posted inReview

Solving the “Turandot” Riddle

For nearly a century, conductors, directors and composers have been trying to finalize and fulfill the promise of “Turandot,” Puccini’s ultimate, unfinished opera. A who’s-who of 20th-century artists have tried and mostly failed. Until this past Friday night, December 2, in Amsterdam. At Dutch National Opera, director Barrie Kosky premiered a new production which makes […]

Posted inReview

The Young Adult Self-Insert Fanfic “Magic Flute”

For those with no knowledge of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s final singspiel, the poster and cast list of Florian Sigl’s new film version of “The Magic Flute” (produced by Roland Emmerich—of “Independence Day” fame and “Moonfall” infamy) might raise some questions. For those familiar with the (incomprehensible) plot of “The Magic Flute,” featuring bird men (and […]

Posted inInterview

Authentic Human Utterances

Nearly a decade ago, I watched Julia Bullock crawl around the floor of the Juilliard stage in the title role of Janáček’s “The Cunning Little Vixen.” A great talent had arrived. I kept listening: First, to her Joséphine Baker-inspired “Perle Noire” in a penthouse at Lincoln Center (and the tweaked version that followed on the […]

Posted inBreaking

Level Out, Level Down

Today’s offer of investment from Arts Council [sic] of £17 million over the next three years will allow us to increase our national presence by creating a new base out of London, potentially in Manchester.” That last Friday’s public statement from English National Opera was spun by some as a successful outcome sums up the […]