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Recently in Performances

In Parenthesis, Welsh National Opera in London

‘A century after the Somme, who still stands with Britain?’ So read a headline in yesterday’s Evening Standard on the eve of the centenary of the first day of that battle which, 141 days later, would grind to a halt with 1,200,000 British, French, German and Allied soldiers dead or injured.

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OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Performances

23 Mar 2005

Orlando Furioso at New York City Opera

Handel’s opera “Orlando” is a seductive broadside against love, and New York City Opera’s new production makes this distaste for romance seem irresistible for a while. When the titular knight goes soft, the magician Zoroastro intervenes to warn him away from the vagaries of passion. Better, he counsels, to stick to such sensible, manly stuff as vengeance, mayhem and murder: Make war, not love.


Antonio Vivaldi

The Lost Rigors of the Baroque

BY FRED KIRSHNIT [NY Sun, 21 Mar 05]

Jorge Luis Borges used to teach that there were only five or six basic stories in all of world literature. A fan of Baroque opera might be forgiven for thinking that there were only a few actual stories, and that "Orlando Furioso" was the primary one. Soon after Vivaldi composed two operas on the subject, George Friedrich Handel fashioned three. The first in the trilogy, 1733's "Orlando," was premiered on Sunday afternoon in a new production at City Opera.

Click here for remainder of article (subscription to New York Sun required).


Trading the Dangers of War for the Perils of Love

By ANTHONY TOMMASINI [NY Times, 22 Mar 05]

For the new production of Handel's remarkable opera "Orlando" that opened on Sunday afternoon, the New York City Opera has assembled a splendid cast, headed by the exciting countertenor Bejun Mehta in the title role. Still, if a Handel opera is not to seem like a stagy succession of da capo arias in which characters simply posture themselves and proclaim emotions, a production must help the singers penetrate the beguiling musical surface to tap the dramatic subtext. The director Chas Rader-Shieber's enchanting production, introduced two years ago at the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, N.Y., does this and more.

Click here for remainder of article.


Making a good case for making war, not love

BY JUSTIN DAVIDSON [Newsday, 23 Mar 05]

Handel's opera "Orlando" is a seductive broadside against love, and New York City Opera's new production makes this distaste for romance seem irresistible for a while.

When the titular knight goes soft, the magician Zoroastro intervenes to warn him away from the vagaries of passion. Better, he counsels, to stick to such sensible, manly stuff as vengeance, mayhem and murder: Make war, not love.

Click here for remainder of article.

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