Washington National Opera’s Better Gods brings a mostly unknown chapter in Hawaiian history onto the stage at the Kennedy Center, telling the story of Queen Lili’uokalani, the island nation’s last monarch, with dignity and high artistic values. I imagine the Hawaiian “better gods” are happy.
There’s much to learn watching a production being remounted by essentially the same team. The riches and new challenges proved fascinating in the rarity of Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica that played for two performances this past weekend at the Kennedy Center.
Philip Glass has been called by some the greatest living composer. His new work, Appomattox, received a world premiere in its expanded and revised state by Washington National Opera on Saturday. It is bold, sweeping, dreamlike, socially relevant, and ultimately deeply spiritual.
There is a Carmen for everyone. This production of Georges Bizet’s opera is from South African townships around Capetown welded by the most spirited Isango Ensemble. They have made the work their own from the marimba orchestra in which all the performers participate to the African dance steps and occasionally native-language songs thrown in the […]
Pulsing music from a string quartet becomes a cinematic soundtrack to footage of green water swiftly flowing. The images change to handlebars while on stage a seated man pedals the air, the baritone singing ecstatically “Like every other boy, I have a paper route!”
“This project has changed me completely,” Laura Kaminsky told me, “as an artist and as a composer. It’s been an amazing experience so far. For months, I was taking Hannah’s spirit everywhere with me. She was haunting our household.”
If opera is meant to be a true synthesis, bringing together the many art forms of music, singing, dance, acting, and the visual arts, then Washington National Opera’s Carmen has created a smashing “top drawer” example. For their sixtieth season opener, the company has rolled out the ever popular Georges Bizet opera but made the […]
I interviewed Eric Owens, the world-renowned bass-baritone, in the beautiful surroundings of Glimmerglass Festival. He had just come off a performance of Verdi’s Macbeth two nights before and was preparing to work with singers from the Young Artists Program. Soon he would be appearing alongside Artistic Director Francesca Zambello pre-show to greet audiences and encourage […]
On this the fortieth anniversary of the Glimmerglass Festival, Artistic Director Francesca Zambello has delivered to us two big valentines of shows: Mozart’s much beloved work The Magic Flute and Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.
The general understanding in theatre is that there is a curse on Shakespeare’s Scottish play. I wonder in Anne Bogart’s new operatic production at Glimmerglass Festival, despite some wonderful singing, whether some of that curse didn’t leak over to create a bit of a soggy mash of an interpretation of Verdi’s opera.