Rimsky’s Cockerel Feathers The Cap Of Santa Fe Opera

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By Johanna Keller

SANTA FE, N.M. – There is no escaping the topicality and pointed political message of the company’s premiere production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s last opera, The Golden Cockerel, which is undergoing a major revival.

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Beethoven: Takács Excels In Quartets; Book Illuminates

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – In a new boxed set, the Takács Quartet gives memorable readings of the Beethoven string quartets, and a valuable book by the group’s first violinist, Edward Dusinberre, explores the challenge of playing them.

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Rising Star Cooke To Complete Bates Double With Jobs

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By Barbara Jepson

INTERVIEW – With the premiere of a Mason Bates song cycle behind her, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke looks forward to creating the key role of Steve Jobs’ wife in Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at the Santa Fe Opera.

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Stylistic Tangling At Tanglewood In Concerto Premiere

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By Keith Powers

LENOX, Mass. – In Vijay Iyer’s Trouble, performed by Jennifer Koh with The Knights orchestra, pastoral melodies are overrun by extended techniques that take the work into funk, jazz, or invitingly minimalist textures.

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Potent Il Pirata Closes Bel Canto Era At Caramoor

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By James L. Paulk

KATONAH, N.Y. – In the final opera of Will Crutchfield’s twenty-year bel canto venture at the Caramoor Center, soprano Angela Meade gave a stunning performance as the romantically conflicted Imogene in Bellini’s rarity.

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When New Music, Criticism Flowed From Same Pens

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – A new CD pulls together works by Virgil Thomson and four other composers who once served as music critics for the New York Herald-Tribune. It’s a great idea for a concept album, and beautifully executed.

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Weill Fest Explores Music’s Advocate For Social Progress

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By Rebecca Schmid

BREVARD, N.C. – Perhaps only in the current age of stylistic pluralism may it be possible to reconcile Kurt Weill’s German and American phases. In a mix of scholarly talks and performances, the Brevard Festival takes a stab.

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Coming Events: Western Festivals Light Up The Sky

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By Kyle MacMillan

DATE BOOK – The hotter months invite you to plug into a new opera about Steve Jobs, enjoy outdoor concerts at ski-country heights, and cruise the Colorado River with concerts at bankside. Here’s a look at mountain area highlights.

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Around the U.S.

Cincinnati Opera Paints Frida In Vibrant Colors

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By Janelle Gelfand

CINCINNATI – Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s 1991 opera offers an unflinching view of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s torments and passions. The piece alternates in the summer festival with works by Puccini, Mozart, and Missy Mazzoli.

Requiem Of Fright Resolved Into Joy By Seattle Forces

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By Jason Victor Serinus

SEATTLE  – Closing the Symphony’s season, music director Ludovic Morlot paired Ligeti’s Requiem and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, turning T.S. Eliot’s quote that the world ends “not with a bang but a whimper” on its head.

Glass’ The Trial Sweeps Kafka Into A Slapstick World

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By Chuck Lavazzi

ST. LOUIS – Despite an appealingly quirky score, the opera by Philip Glass and librettist Christopher Hampton felt like a bloodless intellectual exercise; pervasive cartoonish mugging at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis didn’t help.

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Around Canada

Nary A Weak Link In Concert Packed With New Music

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By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – The Bang on a Can All-Stars performed works by a dozen contemporary composers from Canada and the United States in an eclectic program that included John Oswald’s “plunderphonic” treatment of a Motown hit.

Hoping For Spark, Vancouver Opera Becomes Festival

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By David Gordon Duke

VANCOUVER – In a bold restructuring that replaces the conventional season, the first Vancouver Opera Festival, April 28-May 13, will boast three full-scale productions as well as solo performances and a variety of special features.

Native Resistance Recalled In Opera Of Canadian West

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By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – In choosing Louis Riel, a rebel of the Canadian Métis people, as the subject of their 1967 opera, composer Harry Somers and libettist Mavor Moore hit on a dramatic topic that’s so Canadian it bleeds maple syrup.

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International

Trip To The Moon: Gift To Amateurs, Laced With Maxim

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By Rebecca Schmid

BERLIN – Andrew Norman’s educational opera A Trip to the Moon, with the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle and a large cast of pros and amateurs, is skillfully constructed while leaving an aftertaste of cliché.

Lunar Parsifal: Toto, We’re Not In Bayreuth Anymore

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By Rebecca Schmid

VIENNA – At the Theater an der Wien, installation artist Jonathan Meese and Austrian composer-librettist Bernhard Lang created Mondparsifal, a new version of Wagner’s Parsifal that moves the action to the future, and to the moon.

Rattle Nears Exit In Berlin, Remains Champion Of New

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By Rebecca Schmid

BERLIN –Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face Suite is part of a series of commissions that will accompany Simon Rattle on his final stretch as Berlin Philharmonic music director. He leaves in 2018 to focus on the London Symphony.

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Issues in the Arts

New Opera Award Goes To Mazzoli, Vavrek For Waves

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By John Fleming

Breaking the Waves, with music by Missy Mazzoli (right) and libretto by Royce Vavrek, is the first winner of the Music Critics Association of North America’s Best New Opera Award. The presentation will be made July 19 in Santa Fe.

Fine Book Details Cliburn’s Victory At Tchaikovsky

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By Colin Eatock

BOOK REVIEW – In When the World Stopped to Listen: Van Cliburn’s Cold War Triumph and Its Aftermath, Stuart Isacoff brings a pianist’s insights and historian’s rigor to an event that shook the world nearly six decades ago.

Think Like A Pro To Get Big Sound At Your Desktop

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By Michael Gray

DIGITAL – You may be surprised that you can enjoy great musical sound from your computer. To get there, you need to address some basic questions, ranging from what you expect to hear to the space available on your desk.

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Disc and Stream

Beethoven: Takács Excels In Quartets; Book Illuminates

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – In a new boxed set, the Takács Quartet gives memorable readings of the Beethoven string quartets, and a valuable book by the group’s first violinist, Edward Dusinberre, explores the challenge of playing them.

LA Street Opera: Scenes Assembled In Cars, At Stops

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – In fall 2015, Los Angeles was the setting for Hopscotch: A Mobile Opera For 24 Cars, with riders listening to fragments en route to various destinations. Now comes the recording on a USB drive shaped like car key.

New CD Shows Off Clarinet Mastery, With Double Twist

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By Paul Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – In a pairing of recent concertos by Osvaldo Golijov and Christian Lindberg, Swedish clarinetist Emil Jonason showcases not only his technical virtuosity, but also an exceptional flair for generating excitement.

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MCANA Hosted Blogs

John Adams on Record – Part Two

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
Here is Part Two of my updated, expanded, 70th birthday discographical survey of John Adams’s music, …

John Adams On Record – Part One

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
 
My most vivid memory of John Adams was way back near the beginning of his career, …

Susan Brodie - Toi Toi Toi

A Paris Opera 2017-18 Season to Enchant

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By Susan Brodie: Toi Toi Toi!
“Laissez-vous porter”–let yourself be carried away–is the motto of the Paris Opera’s 2017-18 season, and the upcoming program provides …

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