On November 17, 2019, the National Symphony Orchestra offered a concert presentation of Tristan und Isolde Act II in a loud, enthusiastic and splendid performance at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center. Conductor Gianandrea Noseda led a virtuoso sprawling group of fine musicians, but with his back to the soloists and creating a sound that was unmitigated by an orchestra pit. As a result the...
Some music-making of a very high caliber took place at New York’s Carnegie Hall on the evening of May 26, 2016, when James Levine closed out a three-concert series by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra with selections from the Ring Cycle. The Met Orchestra has, for years, been by far the best band in New York, […]
The knight Walther is too often experienced by the audience through Eva’s eyes – handsome, strong, rebellious within acceptable boundaries, virile, dashing, a born artist and a hell of a tenor. A recent performance of avid McVicar’s insightful Gyndebourne/Chicago/San Francisco production, and a careful listen to the Reginald Goodall English-language recording, suggests that the truth […]
Evan Baker’s book From the Score to the Stage: An Illustrated History of Continental Opera Production and Staging (Univ. Chicago Press 2013) is the best study of its kind: scholarly, entertaining, and comprehensive in its grasp of this wonderful subject. Baker seems infused with enthusiasm for the topic, lingering deliciously on such topics as early […]
A few years ago I was walking back to the parking lot after attending a riveting performance of Siegfried at the Met, and joined a young man waiting for the pedestrian signal to change, carrying a trumpet case and wearing formal dress. “Great show,” I said. “Yeah,” he responded. “It’s an amazing score, isn’t it?” […]