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Opera

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Review: Anna Karenina

Judging from Joe Wright's adaptation, Tolstoy's big book would have made a pretty good opera, or maybe a movie musical.
High infidelity
By PETER KEOUGH  |  November 16, 2012
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Boston Lyric Opera's Madama Butterfly

"Were you bored?" I overheard a woman walking up the aisle say to her companion. "No," he answered, "I loved it." "Are you sure?" she replied.

By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  November 09, 2012
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Boston Midsummer Opera's Don Pasquale

This year's Boston Midsummer Opera (at the Tsai Center through July 29) is Donizetti's very late (the 64th of his 66 operas) Don Pasquale , a musically inspired and humanly endearing bel canto comedy about the indiscretion of old age and the cruelty of
Hearing vs. seeing
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  July 27, 2012
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Review: To Rome With Love

Woody Allen's European vacation winds down with four tales that indulge his usual preoccupations: hookers, sell-outs, fame, mortality, and hot bi chicks.
Woody Allen's slight stories
By ANN LEWINSON  |  July 06, 2012
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The Metropolitan Opera live telecasts

Given the high cost of productions and, therefore, the high price of tickets, opera companies have a hard time staying in business.
High art in high definition
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  May 04, 2012


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Emmanuel’s late Mozart, NEC’s early Britten, BSO guest conductors, and Boston Lyric Opera’s The Inspector

By an odd coincidence, two recent events included two of Boston's best-loved singers in non-singing roles, artists who've been teamed in some of Boston's most memorable opera productions: baritone James Maddalena and soprano Susan Larson, essential membe
Plus, Boston Conservatory’s The Apple Tree , Charles Strouse at Longy, and Helen Grime at the Gardner
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  April 27, 2012
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NEC brings back Leon Kirchner’s Lily

Leon Kirchner's Lily, wasn't the only opera to have a disastrous premiere (some now-indispensable Verdi and Puccini were opening-night failures).
Making a comeback
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  April 06, 2012
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BLO’s Barber of Seville; plus Eschenbach leads the BSO, Boston Baroque’s Mozart, and the Yiddish songs of Lazar Weiner

In his program note for the Boston Lyric Opera production of Rossini's effervescent The Barber of Seville (Shubert Theatre, through March 18), music director David Angus asks us to listen extra carefully to this irresistible score, however familiar it
Cutting it close
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 16, 2012
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Helios Early Opera's Charpentier; plus, the BSO's Mendelssohn Lobgesang

There's a new group in town doing Baroque opera — not an easy ambition.
Hello, Helios!
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 03, 2012
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A knee-slapping Lend Me a Tenor at PC

As hilarious as the race for the Republican presidential nomination is, even that is no competition for Ken Ludwig's Lend Me a Tenor.
Hilarious high notes
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 03, 2012


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Revisiting Nixon in China

To celebrate the forthcoming 25th anniversary of the opera Nixon in China , its three creators gathered last Tuesday afternoon on the stage of Harvard's Loeb Drama Center (home of the A.R.T.) to discuss their landmark opus.
Grand Opera and Anti-Opera
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  November 25, 2011
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Boston Lyric Opera opens with Verdi's Macbeth

There's too much tinkering here with Verdi's first serious attempt to capture Shakespeare.
Double double
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  November 11, 2011
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Get thee to the Apohadion for a masterful show

The lurching black satire of The Threepenny Opera is a study in grotesques: Monstrous caricatures of amorality and the blade of the bottom line are both repellent and ridiculously entertaining in this 1928 musical condemnation of capitalism.
Shell out for Threepenny
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  September 23, 2011
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I loves you, Porgy

So shoot me, Porgy purists. To my mind, the retooling of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess for American Repertory Theater is compelling enough to push past quibbles.
The A.R.T. streamlines a classic
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  September 02, 2011
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Crist shines in 2nd Story’s Master Class

Self-centeredness, tunnel vision, career obsession — these are not traits that endear us to a person. Yet without them, as Terrence McNally's absorbing Master Class makes clear, Maria Callas would not have attained her ranking as a renowned opera diva
All the right notes
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 02, 2011


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A postmodern dance lineage sings

Brown's newest work, Les Yeux et l'âme , is a suite of dances from Jean-Philippe Rameau's opera Pygmalion , which Brown directed in Europe last year.
Forest forays
By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  August 26, 2011
ART takes on Porgy and Bess 2

Reimagining Porgy and Bess

In the new production at the American Repertory Theater, directed by Diane Paulus, Messrs. Heyward and Gershwin have been reworked by two actual African-Americans: two-time Obie Award winner Diedre L. Murray and Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African-Americ
The A.R.T. takes on the Gershwins' classic and prep it for Broadway
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  August 12, 2011
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BOC's delightful Falstaff and Michael Endres playing Schubert at Newport

Boston Opera Collaborative is, in its own words, "a non-profit membership organization dedicated to providing opportunities for emerging artists." Its members share in both the artistic and administrative work. Now in its sixth year, it has created a sti
The essence of youth
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  July 22, 2011
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A rose for Charlie, in song

On July 7, 1984, three teenagers threw 23-year-old Charlie Howard off of the State Street Bridge in Bangor.
In Memoriam
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  July 08, 2011
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Tod Machover's Death and the Powers, plus Norrington's C.P.E. Bach and the Cantata Singers' B-minor Mass

In her director's note for the American premiere of Death and the Powers: The Robots' Opera , Diane Paulus, artistic director of the American Repertory Theater, wrote that this "work of music-theater . . . has brought together artists from the widest r
Robotics
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 25, 2011


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Preview: Love and Robots in Death and the Powers: The Robots' Opera

A third of the way through the opera Death and the Powers: the Robots' Opera , the leading man becomes a machine.
In Tod Machover's new opera, Death and the Powers , high technology meets high anxiety
By CHRIS DAHLEN  |  March 18, 2011
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Opera Boston’s Cardillac, plus another Levine cancellation, H&H’s Handel, the Takács Quartet, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky

One of the major musical events of the season, Opera Boston’s New England premiere of Paul Hindemith’s Cardillac, was upstaged by the depressing announcement by BSO managing director Mark Volpe, just before the first of the BSO’s four performances of Mah
Heavy metal
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 04, 2011
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The Marinsky In Stravinsky

Live opera — at least, live opera from the Met — has been a huge success in movie theaters. (In Boston, the Fenway routinely sells out two screens.) What about not-quite-live dance?
Coolidge Corner Theatre | February 20, 2011
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 25, 2011
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Opera from BLO, the Met, and Teatro Lirico, plus top-level conducting at the BSO

Opera in Boston is now back in full swing. Boston Lyric Opera, with a company of singers and designers largely new to Boston led by Boston Classical Orchestra music director Steven Lipsitt, gave a memorable production of the opera that composer Viktor Ul
Good works
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 18, 2011
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Oedipus schmoedipus

One of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's most famous concerts was one that didn't take place. Nearly 30 years ago, the BSO announced Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex , to be staged by Peter Sellars, with Vanessa Redgrave narrating.
Operas at the BSO, plus the Cantata Singers, the BYSO's Macbeth, and Christine Brewer
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 21, 2011


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Live! — sort of

The success of the Metropolitan Opera's "Live in HD" experiment augurs well for dance on the big screen. Simulcast at select theaters, with tickets priced higher than for a movie but much cheaper than for a live opera, these events generate a sense of a
Fela! on screen
By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  January 14, 2011
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Sing, sing, sing!

For opera lovers, the offerings last fall were at best a little thin. But this winter, it seems, everyone's doin' it.
Opera is this winter's warmer
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 31, 2010
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Review: Jonathan McPhee & the Longwood Symphony Orchestra at Jordan Hall

Jonathan McPhee is a hard man to keep up with.
Where's the audience?
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  December 17, 2010
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Review: Cappella Clausura in Ordo Virtutum

Sex and the single (it’s the only one we have) 12th-century opera? That’s what an early-music outfit was promising at the First Lutheran Church of Boston this past Sunday.
Cappella Clausura tames the Devil at the First Lutheran Church on November 12, 2010
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  November 19, 2010