Sunday, December 20, 2015

December Chestnuts - Rigoletto, Alvin Ailey, Nutcracker

Nadine Sierra as Gilda, photo as Jonathan Tichler
If last week was a whirlwind of Nutcracker adventures, this week I went to three tried and true warhorses: Alvin Ailey Dance Company on 12/15, Rigoletto on December 17, and one more look for the year at the NYCB Nutcracker on Sunday afternoon.

Usually mid-week revivals of the Met's "Las Vegas" Rigoletto can be dull affairs, but last night's performance had some fresh faces and voices (to New York at least). Jean Fran├žois Borras first made his Met debut in a last minute substitute Werther almost two years ago. I was immediately bowled over by the beauty of his singing. Since then he's made a return to the Met last season for some Rodolfos and sung Werther and Des Grieux in Vienna.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Nutcrackerthon Diaries - Nutcracker, Buttcracker, Nutcracker Rouge, Hard Nut

Hyltin and Veyette, photo @Andrea Mohin
By a mix of chance and calculation I ended up seeing five Nutcrackers in one week. Strike that. I ended up seeing two Nutcrackers proper and three Nutcracker-inspired shows in one week. It was an ambitious undertaking but I survived and am still alive to write about it! Here are the Nutcracker diaries I kept for this week:

December 5, 2015 - NYCB Nutcracker - I'm at the alpha and omega of Nutcrackers (and let's face it, NYC Christmas-themed shows), Mr. Balanchine's ageless take on Tchaikovsky's ballet. The theater was packed with a good mix of hardcore balletomanes and families. The performance demonstrates NYCB's current strength as a company -- it's the middle of the chaotic Nut season, and they can put together such a strong cast from the principal roles to the soloist variations to the corps de ballet to the SAB children.

Balanchine's Nutcracker pops up ... everywhere

It's December 2020 and the world is going through a furious, deadly second wave of the covid pandemic. Most performances have been cance...