This week's featured guest on The New Canon is cellist Jeffrey Zeigler of the Kronos Quartet. It’s a little ambitious to try and pick the best Kronos record. That being said, for all of the works that Kronos has turned out, in their 40 studio albums, two compilations, five soundtracks and 26 works done on other artists’ records, their newest release—Uniko—may rank as my personal favorite.
Chances are the following has happened to you at least once. You bring a friend to the opera and, just as the house lights dim, they turn to you and ask: “So what’s this about?” Enter Twitter's popular #operaplot contest, with guest judge Eric Owens.
For many, it seems a maddeningly disconcerting that New York City Opera should now postpone its announcement of the 2011-12 season in order to reconcile its financial woes, chief among them a $5 million deficit. But maybe that’s not the worst thing.
If you tuned into this week’s show on The New Canon, you probably heard me talking about 21c Liederabend. Producer Beth Morrison (dubbed by Zachary Woolfe of The New York Observer as “the opera lady who likes it crazy”) along with Opera on Tap and VisionIntoArt have created a series devoted to contemporary opera and art song that is continually satisfying—and continually ambitious. It started as a one-night program in 2009 but has since exploded into a three-day festival featuring the works of 20 composers. With so many composers converging April 7th through 9th, we’re here offering a bit of a primer for each one—and what you can expect to hear this weekend. Click on the composer’s name to sample their works off-site.
Despite the bird-like hum of audience hearing aids, tenor Matthew Polenzani portrayed an innocent soul caught up in the throes of passion as part of a Schubert recital on Sunday. Meanwhile, down Broadway, David Daniels played a "Baroque Elvis."
Once described by Aaron Copland as “la forme fatale,” opera has been getting a new lease on life as of late thanks to the ingenious and intrepid producer Beth Morrison. Dubbed by Zachary Woolfe of The New York Observer as “the opera lady who likes it crazy,” Morrison figures prominently into the new music scene this spring with a return to New York City Opera’s VOX Contemporary American Opera Lab in May. Our live chat with Du Yun begins Monday at 10 a.m.
With close ties to Hungarian folk music, composers Joseph Haydn, Béla Bartók and György Ligeti all shaped our ears while sharing more common ground then one might think. Listen to Q2 host Nadia Sirota and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen trace these overlaps, illustrated by some virtuosic performances by New York Philharmonic musicians and pianists Conor Hanick and Marino Forment.
Earlier this morning it was announced that composers John Adams and John Luther Adams will be collaborating on an opera—the former’s seventh and the latter’s first. Their proposed subject matter? An opera based on the life of Sarah Palin.
With the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s first trip to New York with its new, busy (and injury-plagued) music director, the one cancellation New York audiences have been collectively dreading is that of Maestro Muti. Which is why, when Carnegie Hall sent out an e-mail with the subject “Artist Update: Chicago Symphony Orchestra,” we momentarily held our breaths.
On WQX-Aria, Olivia Giovetti catches up with conductor David Robertson to talk about Mozart’s unfinished opera, Zaïde. Containing no overture and no third act, it is at once opera seria and opera buffa, melodramatic and comic.
As the San Francisco Opera readies its new September 11-themed work, Heart of a Soldier, for a world premiere this fall, Carnegie Hall is unveiling its own premiere commemorating the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The luminous soprano Jessica Rivera, alongside pianist Molly Morkoski and Ensemble Meme (under conductor Donato Cabrera) gives a first listen of the Carnegie co-commission, Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels) in her Zankel Hall recital this evening.
Lee Hoiby, a master of 20th-century art song and opera, died in New York City earlier Monday following a brief illness at the age of 85. The news was confirmed by Hoiby's publisher.
If you ask me, classical music doesn’t need saving. In New York, feisty young ensembles offer more performances than any one person can absorb over the course of a week. Several labels have popped up specifically to churn out music by living composers. From Carnegie Hall and New York City Opera to (Le) Poisson Rouge and The Tank, new works are constantly receiving first listens. Peace out, Pachelbel, there’s a whole new canon.
Upon assuming the post at New York City Opera two years ago, general manager and artistic director George Steel made it his mission to nudge the troubled company forward. How profoundly that mission resonated Friday night, writes Olivia Giovetti.
Theatricality abounds in Rossini’s operas. The composer trades in devices such as mistaken identity and hyperbole nearly as often as he does with coloratura riffs and grand ensemble numbers. So when Peter Gelb assumed directorship of the Metropolitan Opera in 2006, he couldn’t have made a better choice with pegging Broadway director Bartlett Sher to helm a new production of Rossini’s most famous work, Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Sher, a relative neophyte to the genre, made magic out of the classic score and story. The production has since served as a vindication for some of the company’s recent artistic missteps.
While the Met has a well-earned reputation for presenting some of the brightest stars in the operatic firmament, it has also recently garnered some harsh criticism for the number of promised artists backing out. Clearly something’s gotta give, but what that something is remains a gray area.
It’s hard not to imagine Jonathan Miller as a living incarnation of L’Elisir d’Amore’s Doctor Dulcamara. Like Donizetti’s itinerant shyster, Miller breezes into an opera house with a flourish, bringing with him his knighthood, medicinal background and reputation for being—in Dulcamara’s own words—a Dr. Encyclopedia. And for some audiences, Miller’s operas (the most famous of which perhaps being the Mafioso Rigoletto set in 1950s Little Italy) are on par with the questionable wares peddled by Dulcamara.