One Traumatic Soprano
September 01 2009 2:45 PM
It's a trifle sad when the most praise a critic can muster after seeing a performance of Mozart's sublime masterpiece, The Magic Flute, is for the sets and costumes
American composer David Del Tredici won a Pulitzer Prize for his musical adaptation of the work of Lewis Carroll, and on December 4 he will premiere his latest and gayest masterpiece, My Favorite Penis Poems. The 70-year-old talks to Advocate.com about his relationships with Allen Ginsberg and Aaron Copland and how he transitioned from children's literature to S/M ballads.
It's not very often that a lowly music critic gets the privilege of witnessing a glowing performance by a major new talent at the beginning of his or her career, but that is certainly what happened to yours truly on the evening of November 15 at the Los Angeles Opera. Viktoria Vizin, an astounding new mezzo-soprano making her L.A. Opera debut as Carmen this season, took my breath away.
Just what is opera? Is it merely a play set to music? It is that, certainly, but this definition seems hardly satisfactory. Is it merely a theatrical entertainment with good tunes? Some operas do fit this description, but this also seems to miss the mark. Opera, as an art form, is a dramatic entertainment in which the music should enhance the drama -- and that (sadly) explains the failure of Shore's new work.
At 27, Nico Muhly is one of classical music's brightest young talents. We catch up with the prodigy as he takes time off from writing his first opera for the Met and hits the road to perform works from his new album, Mothertongue
Nicholas Hytner's 1985 production of Sir Michael Tippett's classic opera is released on DVD, giving viewers perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see it performed close to perfectly
In its latest collection, Heavenly Harmonies, Stile Antico revives the centuries-old music of William Byrd and Thomas Tallis
The L.A. Opera's production of Verdi's climactic Otello is more than a little flat.
Natalie Dessay's new recital album Italian Opera Arias raises her to the level of Opera Diva.
Renowned composer Terry Riley uses the sound of children's toys and the spirit of Native American rituals in his latest work The Cusp of Magic. Ironically it is one of his most accessible works to date.