Sept 28, 2021 The Original Boris
The Met has promised Mussorgsky’s original for the first time. What does that even mean? Plus: the cultural politics of 19th century opera.
Sept 21, 2021 Fire Shut Up In My Bones
The columnist, the book, the composer, and the cultural politics of 21st century opera.
June 29, 2021 The Immortal Barber
Near the end of Verdi’s life, a prominent critic crowned Falstaff as the pinnacle of
comic opera. Not so, said the octogenarian composer: for “abundance of true musical ideas, comic verve and truth of declamation,” the most beautiful opera buffa in existence was still The Barber of Seville.
June 22, 2021 The Road to Reopening
An update on the progress back to life for the performing arts, and on the startlingly changed world in which we are about to emerge.
June 15, 2021 Wagner's Ear
All his life he was a voracious reader of literature and music alike, and thanks to his
many essays and his wife’s diaries, we know what he read, heard, and thought. Even more important: we can hear what he did with what he heard.
June 1, 2021 The Angels' Victory
Three generations of audiences fell in love with Victoria de los Ángeles. She didn’t
have an easy life or even an easy voice, but every time she started to sing it was a win for beauty over all the world’s ills.
May 25, 2021 The Great Chaliapin
He established Russian opera in the West, earned at the prima donna level, broke all
the rules and made the new ones, and for over four decades sang as beautifully as any bass ever has.
May 18, 2021 James Levine and the problems of artistic power
Musical New York is still processing its family trauma, and there is a lot to talk about here (including some information not yet in the public record).
May 11, 2021 The Ring at the Met: 1986-2009
For nearly a quarter century, what locals now call “the old production” defined the Ring and represented the house at its best. It played for 170 individual nights. I was there
for 96 of them.
May 4, 2021 The Ring at the Met: The First Century
From Nordica and De Reszke to Flagstad and Melchior to Nilsson and...already it’shard to find the second name there, but several golden-agers await rediscovery.
March 9, 2021 Götterdämmerung, Act Three
March 2, 2021 Götterdämmerung, Act Two
February 23, 2021 Götterdämmerung, Prologue and Act One
February 16, 2021 Siegfried, Act Three
February 9, 2021 Siegfried, Act Two
February 2, 2021 Siegfried, Act One
January 26, 2021 Die Walküre, Act Three
January 19, 2021 Die Walküre, Act Two
January 12, 2021 Die Walküre, Act One
January 5, 2021 Das Rheingold