Watching an opera take its first life breath is witnessing a high-risk birth. There were some serious devotees on hand at Kennedy Center’s Family Theatre to support Washington National Opera’s fifth commission of a new hour-long opera.
Monday night, Jon Fosse’s play felt like a blast of early Pinter with some hoary frost of Edward Munch thrown in for good measure. You know: a threesome locked for eternity in jealous triangulation, an alienated figure on a bridge captured in a silent scream, and even perhaps the hint of a lascivious vampire-woman hovering, her […]
As the dimming lights turned the deep red walls of the Kennedy Center Opera House into darkness, the spiky celestial chandeliers seemed to glow with unusual brilliance, welcoming us into another season of Washington National Opera.
It takes a lot of balls but maybe not much brain to call a musical “Urinetown,” and the joke is made several times in the show just what a terrible name it is. But that’s the point. This constantly self-referential musical makes fun of the very form while ever stuffing the show with familiar boondoggle […]
Twenty-five years ago at the small Eureka Theatre in downtown San Francisco, Tony Kushner pushed forth the first iteration of a play that would become what many feel is not only a great American play but one of only a handful of theatre works which thoroughly captured the zeitgeist of its time. This week Angels […]
– Notes from the talk delivered by Susan Galbraith at The Smithsonian on August 16th – On a good day in the Greater Washington area there are more than 15 opera companies of various ilks and sizes. Not all present regular programming. Some, like Lorin Maazel’s Castleton (still in hiatus after the maestro’s death), or Wolf […]
For the past 25 years, Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has memorably gifted our community by remounting one of its recent favorite productions in free performances. These used to be performed at Carter Baron that offered a sylvan setting, opportunities for family pre-show picnics on the grass, and the happenstance adventures of actors sharing the staging with […]
In 1692, Tituba and a gaggle of Puritan girls frolicked by night in the woods outside Salem and allegedly conjured up the devil, an event that embroiled the witnesses and a whole township in a massive, tragic witch-hunt. By night, during this summer of 2016, surrounded by the woods of Cooperstown New York, there has […]
Is it true, as Stephen Sondheim insists, that mostly audience expectations dictate whether a work is to be experienced as an opera or a musical? When pushed, however, he is equally adamant that his Sweeney Todd was squarely conceived as a musical. Well, Artistic Director of the Glimmerglass Festival, Francesca Zambello, and the entire ensemble […]
Well, this one’s for the birds! Full disclosure. I love a production that is steeped in fanciful storytelling. My background as a former teacher of theatre-movement makes me a sucker for anthropomorphic exploration in character building. And I swoon for the bel canto vocal sound, its clear bell-like tones and the agility of the voices […]