Opera has a promising future, judging by this past weekend’s plethora of riches delivered in the newly renovated Terrace Theatre at The Kennedy Center. As part of the American Opera Initiative, Washington National Opera (WNO) produced the opera Proving Up, and teamed up three pairs of young librettists with composers who were mentored in a year-long process […]
This weekend a new opera, Proving Up, proved itself indeed – a chamber opera worthy for the 21st century. Born out of a spirit of inquiry, Proving Up is mysterious, mesmerizing, startling in moments, and highly atmospheric. The work is less plot-driven than most traditional opera; it has earmarks rather of an extended tone poem.
This coming weekend Washington National Opera will showcase its most vital work: insuring the future of the form by developing young creative talent through its American Opera Initiative (AOI), a process that includes getting short operatic gems up on their feet.
The Little Prince returned to earth this past weekend, filling the newly renovated Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center with a veritable feast of sound and sights. “Amazing!” pronounced Kiko, a first grader from Olney, Md, attending opera for the first time.
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 […]
Aida opened Washington National Opera’s season, and the production is stunning grand opera. From the remarkable singing to the stage pictures filled with RETNA’s startling, rich iconography, this is a production not to be missed.
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 […]
Michael Cristofer, who wrote the libretto for the opera Champion, seen at Washington National Opera earlier this year, mined the same territory to write Man in the Ring, which debuted in Chicago last September. The American Theatre Critics Association yesterday announced that his efforts have earned him the $25,000 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics […]
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.
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 […]