Reviews & Interviews

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flying dutchmanFlying Dutchman at Glimmerglass Festival 2013
A season programmed under an umbrella theme can feel a strain, but Artistic and General Director Francesca Zambello has pulled off a clean sweep of wins at Glimmerglass Festival this year, all under a banner featuring Romanticism. Glimmerglass Lake itself provides a most suitable setting that reflects nature as inspiration, and the shows bring to vivid life two other motifs of a movement that spanned two continents and several decades: idealism and the individualistic imagination.[Read More...] [2013/08/01]
camelotA shining moment at Glimmerglass:Camelot
If Wagner’s creation of the Dutchman signifies a true Romantic anti-hero then in this season’s musical we are asked to consider Arthur in Camelot to be a twentieth-century counterpart. Though the genres and styles of music-theatre differ significantly, the alchemic individualistic imagining of the two lead characters made some strong connections. [Read more...] [2013/08/01]
stabat materStabat Mater concludes our Glimmerglass 2013 series
Elegance, idealism, imagination, suffering. These are the words I take away from Glimmerglass Festival 2013. It would be wrong of me not to mention one last show, which for me may have stood as the emotional heart of the outstanding season, and it drove home all these shared motifs. [Read more...] [2013/08/01]
king for a dayKelley Rourke produces surprisingly funny adaptation for Verdi’s King for a Day at Glimmerglass
My introduction to this year’s Glimmerglass Festival featured a moving kaleidoscope of “pop” bubbles projected on the theatre’s curtain. The cheerful light show accompanied the overture, which, from its opening notes, raced like a cat-and-mouse chase, musically reminiscent of Rossini, and set the tone for a new, splendidly buoyant production of Giuseppe Verdi’s King for a Day. Think Marx Brothers meets Mad Men.[Read more...] [2013/08/01]
approachingali2A champ of a new work - Approaching Ali from WNO
Washington National Opera has given us a “champ” of a new music-theatre work that is as approachable and inspiring as the great American Muhammed Ali himself. Its creators have bypassed taking a biographical approach, which wouldn’t have worked in this medium anyway, but have crafted something lean, impressionistic and emotionally powerful. [Read more...]   [2013/06/11]
spoleto2Celebrating 37 Years as the Most Comprehensive Arts Festival in the Country if not the World - Spoleto
This was my third time to the city, my second to Spoleto USA. This year, the trees of Charleston were what first grabbed my attention. These great ancient creatures with their long snake-like arms reach out and intertwine with other trees to form a sheltering canopy over certain parts of the old town. [Read more...]  [2013/06/06]
midsummermorris2War Horse director Tom Morris on his latest,  A Midsummer Night’s Dream 
Tom Morris is best known for being the director of War Horse, a show that stampeded its way to critical and popular glory on Broadway. He has just returned to this side of the Atlantic with his company, the Bristol Old Vic, to make their US debut with a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. As he did with War Horse, Morris joined forces with his co-creators, puppeteers from South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones. [Read more...]   [2013/06/06]
mirenka2Movement artist Mirenka Cechová returns with new Tantehorse production
Mirenka Cechová returns to Washington for three performances only at the Atlas Performing Arts Center with her critically-acclaimed Tantehorse: physical mime theatre. This ensemble is known for combining surreal and decadent poetry with elements of physical theatre and modern dance. [Read more...]
paulscaseRave for Paul's Case, new Urban Arias opera
I come away from this taut opera with powerful images indelibly planted in my brain. I can’t shake the mysterious, disturbing, and yet powerful atmosphere that has been created in Paul’s Case, the latest production by Urban Arias. [Read more...] [2013/04/23]
zambello-90x90The fearless Francesca Zambello takes over Washington National Opera
Francesca  Zambello, the newly appointed Artistic Director of the Washington National Opera, sits in an emerald raw silk jacket, checking on emails. She is surrounded but yet oblivious to the opulence and eye candy in the Willard Hotel Lobby, totally absorbed in her quotidian task. As I approach, she looks up and assesses me in one sweeping glance. [Read more...]
lostinthestars2Lost in the Stars at Glimerglass
Susan Galbraith reports on the four productions of Glimmerglass Festival, in Cooperstown, NY, now celebrating its 25th anniversary season. – [Read more...]
carmen2Carmen at Castleton
Carmen, the second opera of Castleton Festival’s 2012 season, aired after Friday’s storm left performers, staff, and crew with a cancelled scheduled opening and, for many, 72 hours without power and running water. The amazing thing was that this duck (Castleton) not only kept on paddling but that it could quack at all. [Read more...]
castleton2Castleton Festival, a triumph midst the Grand Storm
Now in its fourth season, Castleton has blossomed into an artistically first rate festival and conservatory program that stands proudly beside stalwart organizations like Glimmerglass, Tanglewood, and Wolf Trap. [Read more...]
The Taming of the Shrewtaming2
Who says you can’t make The Shrew work? I did.  And I’ll eat my hat. The last time I had seen a truly stunning production of The Taming of the Shrew was in New York’s Central Park, a Joe Papp production, with Meryl Streep and Raul Julia in the leads. Theirs was a true match. And now we have Cody Nickell and Kate Eastwood Norris who, as husband and wife in real life, have given us Petruchio and Kate, who, fight as they may, recognize something fascinating and deeply stirring in the other.  [Read more...]
nabucco2Nabucco
Verdi’s first major operatic hit, Nabucco, opened this weekend at the Kennedy Center in a sumptuous new Washington National Opera production by American director and designer Thaddeus Strassberger. The visual spectacle of the first two acts carried both story and directorial concept, evoking Biblical spectacles painted on great canvases, in static yet strikingly heroic composition. [Read more...]
haversham2Postcard from Morocco and Miss Havisham's Fire
A comprehensive and stunning celebration of composer Dominick Argento’s work is being presented at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, and it simply should not be missed. [Read more...]
lucia2Lucia Di Lammermoor
Lucia di Lammermoor, which opened last night at Washington National Opera, is not your daddy’s Lucia. If you had come to pay homage to Donizetti’s original impulse and bask in its early romanticism, complete with Scottish mists and moors, you were in for a shock. [Read more...]