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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Martin Hennessy sets Millay’s “Renascence” to song

Martin Hennessy sets Millay's "Renascence" to song
A teenager in Maine spins around, casually establishing her coordinates in the world, when she suddenly becomes contaminated by Infinity. Manic episodes transform into saint-like empathy as she is taken on a journey through self, other, death, re-birth and spiritual awareness.  All in iambic tetrameter no less! This is “Renascence,” the long poem that won a teenage Edna St. Vincent Millay worldwide critical attention...
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A Diva Weekend: Barbra at Barclays, Betty Lynn at Feinstein’s

A Diva Weekend:  Barbra at Barclays, Betty Lynn at Feinstein's
We didn’t plan it to be a mini-marathon of divas, but the pairing worked out nicely.  A couple of months back my boyfriend Doug scored tickets over the phone to see Barbra Streisand in her first concert at the Barclays Center (October 11), the massive new arena in Brooklyn.  We were joined by about 19,000 other fans. No tickets were pre-arranged for our second night in the city and I wasn’t keen on facing...
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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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DDT @ 75

DDT @ 75
David Del Tredici turns 75 on Friday and celebrations are in full swing. Here’s what’s upcoming in New York: March 15: DDT and Courtenay Budd will perform two song cycles: Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter and Miz Inez Sez (Symphony Space) March 23: Four Hand Piano recital DDT and Marc Peloquin. DDT will premiere the big new solo Ray’s Birthday Suit. (The Barge under the Brooklyn Bridge) March 25-26: American...
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“The Eleanor Hovda Collection” on Innova

"The Eleanor Hovda Collection" on Innova
Two years ago I interviewed conductor Jeannine Wager and subsequently wrote on this site what seems to still be the only complete account of the last years of composer Eleanor Hovda (1940-2009).  During our conversation Wager, her companion of 20 years, was forthcoming but obviously still grieving. She told me that she would soon be leaving their Arkansas home and was planning to begin archiving Hovda’s studio in New...
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Review: Rufus Wainwright’s “Prima Donna” at New York City Opera

Review: Rufus Wainwright's "Prima Donna" at New York City Opera
A death watch is the simplest way to describe the months leading up to New York City Opera’s curtailed and displaced 2012 winter season.  The company’s financial crisis caused it to abandon the David H. Koch Theater (formerly the New York State Theater), it’s long-time home at Lincoln Center, and to be at such loggerheads with the musicians union that the season itself was in jeopardy. But a new production of “La...
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Queeries for soprano Melissa Fogarty

Queeries for soprano Melissa Fogarty
Soprano Melissa Fogarty gets around – the musical world, that is.  Some of her most recent projects include a tour with a klezmer band, and a new CD, “Despite and Still” of songs by Samuel Barber, with pianist Marc Peloquin.  She and Peloquin first connected just a couple of years ago through their mutual association with David Del Tredici. Fogarty has worked regularly with Del Tredici, as well as a number...
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“All The Way Through Evening,” a new documentary about composers and AIDS

"All The Way Through Evening," a new documentary about composers and AIDS
Spong and Stern-Wolfe In the new documentary “All The Way Through Evening,” filmmaker Rohan Spong gives a thoughtful depiction of an important group of New York composers who died of AIDS and one woman’s efforts to keep their music alive.  It’s been 20 years now since the era when Kevin Oldham, Chris DeBlasio, Robert Savage and others died, but Mimi Stern-Wolfe continues to produce concerts of their...
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