Recently in Commentary
Sara Gartland is an emerging singer who brings an enormous talent and a delightful personality to the opera stage. Having sung lighter soprano roles such as Juliette in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette and Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata, Gartland is now taking on the title role in Leoš Janáček’s dramatic opera Jenůfa.
Madness descends upon Welsh National Opera for its autumn 2015 season, with three new productions that will explore human turmoil through some of the finest musical expressions of madness and the human condition.
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East Coast Premiere at Opera Philadelphia next season. Performances from Cold Mountain at the Guggenheim in New York this Monday, March 30.
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This is a revised version of my review of the Sept 5th
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"Although there are now more people on this planet than there have ever been before, there are fewer dramatic voices. Something is wrong with that equation. I thought there needs to be some sort of helping hand so that dramatic voices don’t fall through the cracks in the system as they advance through their various stages of development."
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11 Dec 2004
Bolcom in Chicago
Marriage and manners By George Loomis [Financial Times] Published: December 10 2004 02:00 | Last updated: December 10 2004 02:00 The general director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, William Mason, likes to put his company's relationship with William Bolcom in...
Marriage and manners
By George Loomis [Financial Times]
Published: December 10 2004 02:00 | Last updated: December 10 2004 02:00
The general director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, William Mason, likes to put his company's relationship with William Bolcom in historical context. "It's our hope that 100 years from now, just as people speak of Verdi in Venice and Milan, and Rossini in Naples, they will speak of Bolcom in Chicago." Even granting the surge of new operas in the US, Mason's allusion to 19th-century Italy is audacious. Yet one cannot deny that Bolcom's ties to the Lyric, where on Saturday A Wedding becomes his third world premiere for the company and where a fourth opera is in progress, represent something special among the big American opera houses.
It is heartening to find an operatic audience approaching a new work with an earlier age's inkling of what to expect stylistically. Having experienced McTeague (1992) and A View from the Bridge (1999), the Chicago audience can be confident that the new opera will have sure theatrical values, ingratiatingly written vocal lines and music with a broad eclectic underpinning. And just as A View from the Bridge profited from Arthur Miller's personal contribution as his play was turned into an opera, so too Robert Altman has helped shape A Wedding out of his 1978 film; Altman also stages the opera, as he did McTeague.
Unlike its predecessors at the Lyric, A Wedding is a comedy -a chance, perhaps, to write something in the style of Rossini, whose celebrated affability Bolcom himself brings to mind? "Don't I wish!" he said in the apartment of his long-time collaborator Arnold Weinstein in Manhattan's Chelsea Hotel. "I adore Rossini. I wish I could write like that!" His modesty notwithstanding, Bolcom's music has a similar power to captivate, and the "multifarious styles" that his works draw on are deployed in so personal and inventive a manner that he's never accused of writing down to the public.
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