Old things may become new. Handel’s opera, Alcina, which premiered in 1735 has done just that – quite magically so. Washington National Opera has dared to take on the classic sorceress for the first time, and it couldn’t have been better timed. “Witchy” and “witchiness” have come back into vogue as women choose to reclaim […]
Your mission: Venture to the land of Adams Morgan until you see a temple at 16th and Fuller. From Fuller turn right at Mozart Place, past the construction, into the auto-gated parking lot. Then look for the signs. Not enigmatic Dan Brown-ish signs, but actual printer paper taped here and there, with arrows, saying “Magic […]
UrbanArias pulls off a seemingly impossible task with Independence Eve by Sidney Marquez Boquiren and Daniel Neer, a chamber opera of three scenes with two singers, which deals with race relations in the US from the recent past to the near future all within 70 minutes.
In most productions, Madame Butterfly is unabashedly atmospheric in its romanticism. “Orientalism” carries us back to composer Giacomo Puccini’s time when the West imagined a fanciful Japan with geishas in pastel colors, a watery moon over stirring waters, a pinkish snow of cherry blossoms, and the like. Those of us who love this opera succumb willingly […]
UrbanArias has gone wild! The company that pushes boundaries, reconceiving opera that is short, smart and fast, has given us an opera about a chimpanzee. Luckily, the chimpanzee, which we learn could perform just about everything else (and she does smile and laugh,) does not sing.
Mozart would have been grinning at this youthful production of his tried-and-true opera that reached out to a new younger and diverse audience Friday night, March 17th. Washington National Opera’s Don Giovanni was Mozart as he wanted to be known: someone who delivered stories-in-song with popular appeal.
Gaetano Donizetti miraculously wrote seventy-five operas during his brief lifetime. But what makes Don Pasquale stand out as one of the funniest comic operas (opera buffa) ever written is that it is filled with exquisitely beautiful bel canto arias, patter songs, and melodramatic humor. Its unforgettable characters are a mix of good and evil. Yet, […]
The air was electric at Kennedy Center Saturday night with the promise of a great fight mounted as opera on stage, and I had what amounted to ringside seats. Champion clearly had some heavy hitters, headed up with a score by the great jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard and a libretto by award winning […]
On the 24th of March, 1962, welterweight champion Benny Paret called former champ Emile Griffith a maricón at their weigh-in. The closest contemporary American-English equivalent to this word is faggot, but maricón means more, and worse. Griffith understood what it meant. He climbed into the ring with Paret that night, fought him, and killed him.
The opera Dead Man Walking is a journey of harrowing truth and compelling beauty. If, as Sister Helen Prejean says, “ Grace is waking up to the gospel of encounter,” then Director Francesca Zambello and her company of stunning singer-actors has graced us with a revelatory theatrical encounter – that is to say an American […]