Botticelli Reimagined, London

Peter Ustinov once said that if Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) were alive today, he'd be working for "Vogue." You can see what he was driving at. Around 1485, Botticelli painted "The Birth of Venus," which famously shows the goddess drifting ashore on a scallop shell. Nearby "Venus," in the  ...

Oscars 2016: Live Tweets by Andrew Osborne

Okay…My wife & I are fortifying ourselves with pizza & onion rings…a vapid model’s being vapid on E! It’s #Oscar2016 time! #RedCarpet greatest hits…Michelle Williams, Halle Berry, and that backless dress that made straight guys momentarily hot for Hilary Swank. Wow, what a beautiful sunset outside my window  ...

Vogue 100: A Century of Style

Vogue 100: A Century of Style has just opened at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) and it takes us back in time and shows us how this internationally renowned fashion magazine has got to where it has today. The way in which fashion filters into our day-to-day lives is dependent  ...

Norma

  The English National Opera (ENO) first performed Bellini’s 1831 bel canto opera, Norma this month. Christopher Alden's production was first performed by Opera North in 2012, which is a co-production with Die Theatre Chemnitz and has toured to Bordeaux ever since. Having never seen the opera before but  ...

Macbeth, Berkeley

“Bubble bubble, toil and trouble” and for what? An evening of “sound and fury,” signifying, if not nothing, precious little. Expectation ran high for Berkeley Rep’s visually stunning, starry production of Shakespeare’s Scottish play. Helmed by the great American actress Frances McDormand (“Fargo,” “Olive Kitteridge” and much more) and  ...

The Magic Flute

  I figure, turn-about is fair play. LAOpera is, once again, mounting the startling production of Komische Opera’s Magic Flute. I raved about it in December 2015, and stick by my opinions, many of which are re-iterated below. My issue is with LAOpera’s decision to re-run this production, no  ...

The Flick

  Annie Baker’s Pulitzer-winning script for "The Flick," newly opened at Steppenwolf Theatre, gives us a chance to get to know three people, underpaid workers in a movie theater in Worcester County, Massachusetts. Their story of the minimum-wage economy could as easily have been told of low-wage, no-future workers  ...

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Metropolitan Opera maestro James Levine cancelled his appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra due to ill health.  San Francisco Orchestra conductor Michael Tilson Thomas (and all around good guy) graciously stepped in for Levine, on very short notice, and nonetheless made it a musical occasion to remember. Tilson Thomas switched  ...

Champion: An Opera in Jazz, SF

“Champion” packs a punch. If Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard’s opera is not a complete knockout, it may be due to a flabby libretto by Michael Cristofer with words that don’t live up to the power of the highly-listenable score. But, as presented by Opera Parallèle and SFJAZZ, in San  ...