The Red Shoes

I have never felt that ballet was a very successful medium for telling a story. To convey emotion? It works. For the set up of a situation? Sure. But details that push the story forward become exaggerated pantomime. Therefore, I  ...

Big Night

Say: Paul Rudnick. What do you think of? Most likely The New Yorker column, “Shouts and Murmurs,” to which he is a frequent contributor. So your expectation is lots of toss-off, funny one liners, right? Well, “Big Night” has many  ...

Carmen

The battle lines are drawn. On the one side there are the opera snobs who label “Carmen” as that “chestnut.” On the other, there are the thousands who fill halls when “Carmen” plays. The beautiful and melodic score, and the  ...

Archduke

“Bang. You’re dead.” It is June 28, 1914; Gavrilo Princip shoots the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife. World War I is off to a flying start. Or that is the impression one gets from grammar school textbooks. Of course history  ...

Tosca, LAOpera

“Tosca” … it is Puccini … what’s not to like? True, and it is probably his best opera. But LAOpera’s current production is a “Tosca” to love, not simply like. With glorious voices that are every bit a match for  ...

Into The Woods

A confession is in order. I love Sondheim. I adored “Into The Woods” when it was presented by The Oregon Shakespeare Company at the Wallis in 2014. I rushed to take grandchildren to the 2015 film with Meryl Streep. I  ...

Salome

Whether your orientation is religious or secular, if your culture is western the name Salome probably conjures up images of seduction and grisly obsession. She is depicted in the bible. She is seen frequently in European painting. The gruesome image  ...

The Abduction from the Seraglio

Opera folks have their quibbles. There are those who want a classic staging, just as audiences would have seen at the times the operas were written. The fewer liberties, the better. And then there are those who believe resetting the  ...

Macbeth

Here is my conundrum: (1) I am not crazy about performances that last three full hours; (2) I want to be emotionally pulled in; and (3) if dancers are going to be on stage for most of an opera the  ...