Browsing: Musical Theatre

REVIEW: of The Anchoress, a world premiere of a new musical monodrama/song cycle composed by David Serkin Ludwig with text by Katie Ford, performed by soprano Hyunah Yu, accompanied by saxophone quartet PRISM and ancient-instrument ensemble Piffaro; on Wednesday, October 17, at the Perelman Theatre of Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and on Thursday, October 18, at New York City’s DiMenna Center for Classical Music (the latter performance reviewed here); and INTERVIEWS: with composer David Ludwig and poet Katie Ford. The impulse to retreat from the world in search of spiritual insight or purity has manifested throughout human history. Twenty-one centuries of Christianity…

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REVIEW: of works by composers David Lang and Gregg Kallor – The Mile-Long Opera by Lang, performed on the High Line; and sketches from The Frankenstein Suite, plus the monodrama “The Telltale Heart,” by Kallor, performed in the Catacombs of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. Some uncanny musical surprises graced unusual locations both above and below New York City street-level during the early part of Halloween month. Here’s a diary retrospective. Going the Extra Mile Beginning at twilight on six consecutive evenings (October 3 through 8; viewed October 7), Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer David Lang and a host of collaborators presented a unique choral…

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REVIEW: of Opera Philadelphia’s “Festival O18” (September 20-30, 2018) – a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor, composed by Gaetano Donizetti with libretto by Salvadore Cammarano; the world premiere of Sky on Swings, composed by Lembit Beecher with libretto by Hannah Moscovitch; the premiere of Ne quittez pas (a “reimagined” La voix humaine of Francis Poulenc, with a new prologue featuring numerous of the composer’s art songs); the premiere of Glass Handel, an immersive concert experience featuring countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo performing music by George Frideric Handel and Philip Glass; and Queens of the Night: Blythely After Hours, an opera/rock…

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The opening show of the Segal Centre fall season is the musical Once, which won eight Tony Awards in 2012, including best song (“Falling Slowly”) and best musical. Once is based on the low-budget 2007 Irish film of the same name directed by John Carney about a Dublin-based busker and vacuum repairman and his relationship with a Czech immigrant who is an aspiring pianist and single mother. Their friendship quickly develops into a complex, passionate love story built on their love of music. The film’s soundtrack also garnered an Academy Award and a Grammy. The Montreal production is set in…

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PREVIEW: of a public workshop performance with orchestra of the new opera Taking Up Serpents – libretto by Jerre Dye, score by Kamala Sankaram; presented by MassOpera, Boston; Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 3 p.m.; Deane Hall at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts (527 Tremont Street, Boston); the opera is a commission of the Washington National Opera and this workshop is presented by MassOpera. In the final passages of St. Mark’s Gospel, Christ declares that a hallmark among his true believers shall be a willingness that “they shall take up serpents!” And in certain quarters…

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PREVIEW: of the new opera, PermaDeath, by Cerise Lim Jacobs and Dan Visconti, which will play Boston’s Cutler Majestic Theatre for three performances, September 27, 28 and 29, 2018. The theater dims. A martial blare and glistening orchestral clamor suddenly rives the murmuring darkness, and a bewildering vista of strange, vast landscape floods the stage. Two beautiful, luminous, titanic beings – the sibling gods Apollo and Artemis – are in pitched battle with the massive, earthen Niobe and her fourteen grotesque offspring. The stuff of mythic dreams? Yes. But it’s also the planned dazzler of an opening for the new…

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REVIEW: of the Berkshire Opera Festival production of Giuseppe’s Verdi’s Rigoletto (August 25 at 1 p.m.; August 28 at 7:30 p.m. and August 31 at 7:30 p.m., at the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, Massachusetts). Sex, power, seduction, revenge, and a dazzling lightning storm. Verdi’s gutsy 1851 operatic melodrama, Rigoletto, gets a fascinating, stylish, and unflinchingly close study in the Berkshire Opera Festival’s new production, running through August 31 at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts (viewed here at the August 25 opening). Under director Jonathon Loy (who is also the festival’s co-founder), Verdi’s tale of a deformed court jester who seeks…

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PROFILE/REVIEW: of the 2018 Glimmerglass Festival Season: Silent Night by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell; West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim; Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janáček; and The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini and Cesare Sterbini. “It’s remarkable how many important things happened in 1918,” observes Glimmerglass Festival artistic and managing director Francesca Zambello, speaking at a recent pre-show audience address in Cooperstown. “The end of World War I. The birth of Leonard Bernstein. And the premiere of this piece” – this last a reference to Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, which was…

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PREVIEW: of the 2018 dell’Arte Opera Ensemble Summer Festival Season, “Mozart & Salieri,” at New York City’s LaMaMa (66 East 4th Street), August 11 through 26; and INTERVIEWS: with company founder and artistic director, maestro Chris Fecteau, and dell’Arte 2018 creative team members Brittany Goodwin and Catherine O’Shaughnessy. This company is ready to rumble. Call it the Thrilla from Vienna: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, that most bruited matchup of 18th Century musical titans, is slated for a redux this month – this time in 21st Century New York, courtesy of the dell’Arte Opera Ensemble. Grab a ringside seat.…

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INTERVIEW: with renowned composer John Rutter. Mark it a red-letter day in the Canadian classical music calendar: on Friday the 13th of July, John Rutter – among the world’s most beloved and widely performed living composers – arrives in Ottawa. “I feel very much at home in Canada,” Rutter says from his home in Great Britain. “I was quite a regular visitor in past years, when I was patron of the Toronto Mendelsohn Youth Choir. But this will be my first trip to Ottawa, and I’m very much looking forward to it.” It’s a journey occasioned by the two back-to-back…

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