Posted inReview

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 […]

Posted inInterview

Singing By Radar

I met Thomas Hampson for an interview before the meeting of a Munich opera club, where he was scheduled to speak. He was only very slightly late, but the well-meaning members of the of the club seemed worried. “Thomas Hampson never shows up alone,” I was told. At one point in our conversation, a painting […]

Posted inProfile

Queen Of The Gods

“My heart is aghast, / my mind’s in a whirl” sings Fricka, goddess of marriage, hearth, home, and family, faced with her husband Wotan’s latest disruption to their family life. In Richard Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen,” the queen and king of the gods struggle over how to manage their and other people’s marriages, unruly […]