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The finale countdown

The finale countdown

The finale countdown In Gounod’s sentimental take on Shakespeare’s tragedy, Charles Castronovo took an elegiac approach, refining his dark, haunting tenor to delicate piano tones. “Like most opera fans (or, let’s be accurate, opera queens) I have specialist tastes, with the soprano voice at the top of the list. But the final weeks’ offerings at the Metropolitan Opera, revivals of Lucia di Lammermoor and Roméo et Juliette might very well convert me to a tenor fanatic.” Our ... Read More »

Even Crystal Pite Gets Nervous Before a First Rehearsal

Even Crystal Pite Gets Nervous Before a First Rehearsal

Even Crystal Pite Gets Nervous Before a First Rehearsal Crystal Pite is a busy woman. While her company, Kidd Pivot, toured the globe recently performing Betroffenheit —its acclaimed collaboration with Jonathon Young and fellow Canadians Electric Company Theatre—Pite herself launched three productions at three of the world’s foremost dance companies: Nederlands Dans Theater ( The Statemen t , February 2016), the Paris Opéra Ballet ( The Seasons’ Canon , fall 2016), and London’s Royal Ballet ... Read More »

Lovedeath in swingtime

Lovedeath in swingtime

Lovedeath in swingtime You call this a tale of romance? I broke up with my first lover over the phone and while watching TV. I’m not proud of this.  Still, that’s an indication right there, wouldn’t you say? that we – Lili and I – had prolonged things beyond their natural life?  That we were no longer synchronized?  We had begun matters, how many years before? three? two? delighted with each other’s odd impulses and reactions ... Read More »

Jesus hopped the L train

Jesus hopped the L train

Jesus hopped the L train Just a few years back it would have been seen as ridiculous to put “Lyric Opera of Chicago” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” in the same sentence.  But the times they are a-changin’, and last night the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice rock opera opened for a month’s run, shaking up the staid Civic Opera House.   It’s the first non “American classic musical” that Broadway at Lyric has produced, and it ... Read More »

Dancers Are Choreographers, Too. It's Time for Dance Criticism to Reflect That.

Dancers Are Choreographers, Too. It's Time for Dance Criticism to Reflect That.

Dancers Are Choreographers, Too. It's Time for Dance Criticism to Reflect That. Dancers are more than just vessels performing set material. We make contributions to creative processes all the time. Some of these are obvious: We often improvise material or generate entire phrases to be incorporated into a work. Others are more innocuous: Dancers are sometimes asked to give feedback that ends up shaping the composition of a work. This is choreography. As working relationships ... Read More »

The human show

The human show

The human show On this day in 1902 Debussy’s Pelleas et Mellisande premiered in Paris. Vincent d&8217;Indy: “The composer has in fact simply felt and expressed the human feelings and human sufferings in human terms, despite the outward appearance the characters present of living in a dream.” //www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSzvx0upPMY Happy International Jazz Day! //www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy_uXNwWkYw Source: Music-2 The human show Read More »

When It's Time To Speak Up For Your Safety Onstage

When It's Time To Speak Up For Your Safety Onstage

When It's Time To Speak Up For Your Safety Onstage Last month, Yann Arnaud, an aerialist with Cirque de Soleil, died after plummeting to the stage in VOLTA . He was performing an aerial straps routine in Tampa, Florida, when one of his hands slipped and he fell 20 feet. Professional dancers are often asked to perform stunts, some of them extremely dangerous. Even when the risks aren’t life-threatening, it’s important to listen to your ... Read More »

Mahler still grooves

Mahler still grooves Click on the photo to enlarge it. Zach Smith, who was responsible for a rash of Mahlerian graffiti in Washington, DC in the late seventies and early eighties, sent me this picture taken in the fall of 1977, showing his handiwork on the base of the Arizona Avenue Trestle. In a 1995 article for The New Yorker, I related how the graffiti caught my eye as I rode a school bus back ... Read More »

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