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All Things Entertaining and Cultural

O19: A Genuine Festival and an Operatic Feast

Producing one opera is a chore. Even when, in an unusual course of events, scenery and costumes are minimal, there’s a score, orchestrations, a libretto, the staging, and the delicate … Continue reading

October 2, 2019 · Leave a comment

Breaking the Waves — Opera Philadelphia at Perelman Theater

The church-dominated north Scottish coastal town in which Bess McNeill resides in so strict and pinched, it looks askance at undevout foreigners and continues to refer to Bess as McNeill … Continue reading

September 28, 2016 · Leave a comment

Lightning Rounds — The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Elixir of Love, Forever Plaid

April 2016 proved a cruel month in terms of time demands, so I am in a position of having to catch up with commenting a number of productions by screwing … Continue reading

April 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

Cold Mountain — Opera Philadelphia at the Academy of Music

A chilling first scene sets the tone and context for Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer’s gorgeous and moving opera, “Cold Mountain,” an epic piece given a vibrant, unstintingly dramatic production … Continue reading

February 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

La Traviata — Opera Philadelphia at the Academy of Music

Lisette Oropesa in the Opera Philadelphia production of “La Traviata” is nothing less than an operatic ideal. As lithe as she is beautiful, Oropesa sails across the Academy of Music … Continue reading

October 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

Yardbird — Opera Philadelphia at Perelman Theater

Maestro Corrado Rovaris begins the downbeat, an easy drum riff that leads a mellow combination of horns. Daniel Schnyder’s score for his and librettist Bridgette A. Wimberly’s view of jazz … Continue reading

June 10, 2015 · Leave a comment

Don Carlo — Opera Philadelphia at Academy of Music

The artistry of one Giuseppe Verdi hardly needs more extoling, but under the baton of maestro Corrado Rovaris, the Opera Philadelphia orchestra reveals Verdi’s score for his 1867 opera, “Don … Continue reading

April 30, 2015 · Leave a comment

Ariadne auf Naxos — Curtis Opera, Opera Philadelphia at the Perelman

“Ariadne auf Naxos” predates Stephen Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park with George” and David Hirson’s “La Bête” by decades, but the situation its plot depicts brings both of those later 20th … Continue reading

March 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

Oscar — Opera Philadelphia at Academy of Music

The life of Oscar Wilde spiraled quickly from the giddy heights of fame, flare, and frivolity to the degradation of confinement, disease, and penury. British law, which in 1897 forbade homosexual practice and … Continue reading

February 11, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Barber of Seville — Opera Philadelphia

Michael Shell’s production of Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” for Opera Philadelphia is an intricately crafted mélange in every conceivable way. The title character, Figaro, enters on a contemporary bicycle … Continue reading

October 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

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