Category: opera

rvw: Lyric Brings Warmth of Midsummer to Chilly Autumn

If you’ve never been to the opera, this is a pretty good place to start.  Bathed in a green light, under a billowing canopy of blue, Lyric’s current production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is serenely sublime: like a fond retelling of a reenactment of a dream about a spirited romp in the woods.... Read more »

Review: eighth blackbird - "Slide"

Before going to eighth blackbird‘s concert Wednesday at the Harris, I had a vague idea what to expect.  Vague, as in, fuzzy, out of focus.  Before seeing it I called Steve Mackey’s piece a “genre-blending song-cycle”, which isn’t totally wrong, but not quite right.  The program notes helped to clarify the picture quite a bit but still... Read more »

Opera Funked Up: Beginning of the End?

Thanks to a local Chicago blogger, I learned about something called The Opera Show and watched a “trailer” for it much like one would for a movie (embedded below).  There have been a lot of assaults on the genre of opera, and I think I now know why: the future of opera (and all so-called... Read more »

Oversimplifying Minimalism: Glass' Satyagraha

I don’t think I’ve ever read an opera synopsis that contains: don’t be “such a pussy.”  Until now. And it’s regarding Philip Glass’ Satyagraha about Gandhi.  It’s an effort by the Guardian to make the opera more accessible; it ends up opening a great debate about how to make something deep and meaningful accessible without... Read more »

Weekend Pick: Winterreise (3/5-3/21)

Chicago is blessed with a fair number of opera companies.  Who, for most of the Spring have been stepping outside of the strict definition of opera, turning it into something else.  Opera Cabal presented “usw”, skewing more performance art, and the Lyric had its Damnation of Faust, which was more oratorio.  Now Chicago Opera Vanguard... Read more »

Figaro: A timeless romantic comedy

Over the weekend, I finally had a chance to see Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro at the Lyric. For the first time. Finally. Opera is a great way to experience Mozart: his simple forms and lyrical melodies help create a perfect balance between music and plot. But, his operas have become so standard that it’s almost... Read more »

Running with the Devil: Faust at Lyric

Whatever assumptions you have about opera, they will be challenged by Lyric’s production of The Damnation of Faust by Berlioz.  There are no fat ladies with braids like in Wagner; there are no gratuitous high notes like in Verdi.  There are few of the clich├ęs of opera, leaving only the story and music, which, in... Read more »