Ades’ “The Tempest” storms theaters worldwide

Ades’ “The Tempest” storms theaters worldwide
Saturday afternoon the Met’s Live in HD broadcasts features Thomas Ades’ “The Tempest.”  The composer conducts.  Here’s a sampling of reviews of the production starring Simon Keenlyside and directed by Robert Lepage, who seems to have redeemed himself among critics who scorned his staging of The Ring.  Also, some video excerpts and a discussion with Lepage. The work got the royal treatment...
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Hans Werner Henze (1926-2012)

“The connecting thread between this vast array of works in so many disparate genres was politics, a commitment to which never left him, although varying in degree over time. Henze adhered throughout his life to leftwing ideologies, a reaction to his youth in Nazi Germany, which left an indelible mark on his creative psyche. He was not afraid of courting controversy, even as recently as last month: ‘So long as...
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Wuorinen’s “Brokeback” opera slated for 2014

Wuorinen’s “Brokeback” opera slated for 2014
One of the many endeavors left in the wake of New York City Opera’s near collapse a few years ago was Charles Wuorinen‘s two-act operatic adaptation of “Brokeback Mountain.”  But the composer has stayed at work on the project, which includes a libretto by Annie Proulx, who wrote the original short story that was turned into the hit film. Teatro Real in Madrid has just announced the premiere will take...
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“Stonewall,” the latest opera from composer David Conte

“Stonewall,” the latest opera from composer David Conte
David Conte‘s most recently completed opera is titled “Stonewall” and it will be developed at the University of North Colorado.  It’s his 11th collaboration and third opera with librettist John Stirling Walker, who died this past May.  Among their previous efforts was “Famous,” based on Ultra Violet’s book “Famous for 15 Minutes,” based on her years with Andy Warhol. Conte...
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Queeries for Mohammed Fairouz

Queeries for Mohammed Fairouz
Composer Mohammed Fairouz, 26, refuses to name a favorite poem but admits to being obsessed with texts.  He’s written 13 song cycles and his first opera, Sumeida’s Song, is due out on Bridge Records soon.  He’s also collaborated with poets Mahmoud Darwish, Wayne Koestenbaum, and Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney.   October will be a landmark month for Fairouz. Besides the CD release, he’ll have...
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“Einstein on the Beach” at BAM

“Einstein on the Beach” at BAM
Maybe it’s because of the legacy of “Rite of Spring,” but when encountering a legendary work that’s said to have changed the course of a genre, one tends to expect an explosive tumult.  Listening to Philip Glass’ “Einstein on the Beach” on disc, there’s certainly a rigid austerity to the chunks of minimalist repetitions.  Yet the opera had an unexpected elegance in the long awaited staged revival that’s...
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Three nights in Saratoga with YNS and the Philly

Three nights in Saratoga with YNS and the Philly
Saratoga Performing Arts Center Wednesday, August 8, 2012 The promise is being fulfilled.  Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin has got the goods and a new era is truly at hand for the Philadelphia Orchestra. It was more than two years ago that the French Canadian conductor, now 37, was named music director of the orchestra, a post that he’ll finally and officially assume in October.  What a coup for SPAC to present him on...
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Glimmerglass 2012 season wrap up

Glimmerglass 2012 season wrap up
General director Francesca Zambello brought together the strongest season at Glimmerglass in my 11 years of covering the company.  Let’s hope her three-year tenure, which began last summer, gets renewed.  Who knows, maybe she’s still just getting started! Here’s a collection of my reviews. Verdi:  Aida Glimmerglass Festival, July 7, 2012 Probably never in its 25-year history has the Alice Busch Opera...
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Fort Worth Opera Festival: Adamo, Heggie, and Puccini (review)

Fort Worth Opera Festival: Adamo, Heggie, and Puccini (review)
Three operas in two days mean an ambitious festival in progress.  When the Fort Worth Opera reinvented itself in 2007 from the traditional format of fall and spring seasons into a concentrated annual festival, the idea was to focus attention and lure in audiences, not just North Texans but folks from far and wide. It certainly seems to have worked.  Some unscientific observation combined with occasional eavesdropping showed...
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Corigliano’s “Ghosts,” ready to haunt any size house, heads to Manhattan School

Corigliano’s “Ghosts,” ready to haunt any size house, heads to Manhattan School
John Corigliano and William Hoffman’s opera “The Ghosts of Versailles” comes in three sizes.  According to Corigliano’s website, there’s the original Metropolitan Opera version from the 1991 debut, which boasted about 300 performers.  There’s the standard version (“eliminates the onstage orchestra by incorporating those parts into the regular pit orchestra, re-assigns roles played...
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