Tag: opera

Golden Girl at Lyric - review

Stravinsky said that we should not learn to respect music but to love it.  So far, the current season at the Lyric Opera has induced more of the former in me: I’m glad I saw Verdi’s Macbeth but don’t need to see it again.  Their current production, The Girl of the Golden West, however, I... Read more »

Carmen at Lyric: Not so Hot but Heavy

Lyric’s current production of the Bizet’s über-Classic Carmen is straightforward and to the point but with an underwhelming amount of charisma and chemistry.  [See it now through October 29, then again (new cast) in March.] Bizet’s classic opera proves itself timeless (unlike certain other operas this season), surrounding and connecting the instantly recognizable tunes with... Read more »

Macbeth at Lyric: Blood, blood everywhere and not a drop to drink

photo by Robert Kusel
Lyric’s production of Verdi’s Macbeth was not a total tragedy, managing to combine a tragic plot, rousing choruses, and circus aerials into a production worthy of half the audience standingly ovating. For me, the performance induced cognitive dissonance.  Verdi’s opera, like Shakespeare’s play, takes place in Scotland, though you wouldn’t know it by the music,... 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 clichés of opera, leaving only the story and music, which, in... Read more »