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Latest Operas Stories

2008-07-19 09:00:27

By Colin Dabkowski, The Buffalo News, N.Y. Jul. 19--What do Jackie Gleason, Chris Farley, John Goodman and Homer Simpson have in common? If you guessed fat and funny, you're on the right track. But each owes a considerable debt to Sir John Falstaff, Shakespeare's infamous "fat knight," whose bumbling escapades over the course of three plays laid a solid foundation for most every comedic boob in English-language drama and literature since. His appearance in Shakespeare's comedy "The...

2008-07-17 18:00:34

By Doug Haberman, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif. Jul. 17--RIVERSIDE -- These young campers were singing, but it wasn't 'round a crackling fire. Three boys and 19 girls sat in chairs in a semicircle, the boys off to one side. They sang a heartbreakingly beautiful rendition of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" in a round, their unamplified voices filling the auditorium at Bobby Bonds Park. "God, you got it together!" said vocal coach Manuel Aybar. After a week of coaching,...

2008-07-16 18:00:26

By Sue Gilmore, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif. Jul. 16--It would seem obvious from the get-go that an opera called "Il Trovatore" (The Troubador) would have to have a really talented singer in the title role to lay claim to any success at all. But in the case of Giuseppe Verdi's 1853 masterwork on themes of obsession, vengeance, thwarted love and tragically mistaken identity, four full-throated, powerhouse vocalists on equal footing are needed to meet the evenly meted-out...

2008-07-16 18:00:26

By Lisa Millegan, The Modesto Bee, Calif. Jul. 16--MURPHYS -- Shakespeare gets a 1980s makeover in Murphys Creek Theatre's "The Merry Wives of Windsor." Cast members wear rock 'n' roll T-shirts, tight jeans and heavy-metal hair and play out their scenes in a trailer park. The updated setting is a clever choice by director Graham Scott Green and works well given the comedy's bawdy jokes and lowbrow pranks. But the show, which is staged outdoors in Stevenot Winery's wooded amphitheater,...

2008-07-15 15:00:35

By D.S. Crafts For the Journal Once again we are at sea with the Santa Fe Opera. Several years ago the company successfully staged Benjamin Britten's opera about the mad fisherman Peter Grimes. Now an arresting new production of that same composer's "Billy Budd" opened Saturday night, the opera's first mounting of the revised version of the piece from 1961. This story of the merciless execution of a young seaman aboard HMS Indomitable from the pen of Herman Melville takes place during...

2008-07-15 03:00:24

By David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer Jul. 15--PRINCETON -- For all of this community's affluence, superb venues, and ample IQ points, opera hasn't been the most dependable presence here, though this fifth season of Opera New Jersey may be a positive turning point. The opening-weekend productions of La Traviata and La Cenerentola filled the niche of quality summer opera in a congenial chamber setting more successfully than ever before. It's true that sets are mostly...

2008-07-13 09:00:25

By John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune Jul. 13--The comprehensive series of recordings of Benjamin Britten conducting and playing his own music that Decca released during the 1960s and '70s helped immeasurably to ensure that the great British composer's works were widely performed during his lifetime and after his death in 1976. They also are an important reason why his reputation has survived the slings and arrows of shifting critical opinion over the years. Now Decca has dipped into the...

2008-07-13 09:00:25

By Anna Picard Even witty, cinematic sets can't inject life into a flat production that needs London's sulphurous streets to make the satire sing Classical The Rake's Progress Royal Opera House LONDON Blank Canvas 93 Feet East LONDON 'Ruin, Disaster, Shame!" The great choral cry of the Crowd of Respectable Citizens at the start of Act III of The Rake's Progress has never seemed so apposite. Lauded in Brussels, Lyon and San Francisco, Canadian director Robert Lepage's lavish...

2008-07-11 09:00:26

By Sue Gilmore, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif. Jul. 11--New York-based tenor Noah Stewart, 29, starring as Manrico in Festival Opera's upcoming production of Verdi's "Il Trovatore," is poised at the beginning of a professional career. Already, however, he has scaled a couple of euphoria-inducing heights. Being selected for the San Francisco Opera's 2006 roster of Merola trainees was just a starting point; moving up from there to the prestigious Adler Fellow program the next...

2008-07-10 12:00:45

By MICHAEL CHURCH Opera HANSEL UND GRETEL Glyndebourne Festival EAST SUSSEX Productions of Engelbert Humperdinck's Hnsel und Gretel are like London buses: you vainly wait decades for one, then along come two at the same time, courtesy of Covent Garden in the autumn and Glyndebourne next week. This adaptation of a Grimm story may be part of the standard repertoire in German houses, but here it's consigned to that critical limbo: "for children". "But as with all good fairy stories," says...


Word of the Day
endocarp
  • The hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed.
This word comes from the Greek 'endon,' in, within, plus the Greek 'kardia,' heart.
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