Showing posts from November, 2016

Warhorse Diaries 2016, part one: Aida and Nutcracker

Latonia Moore as Aida, photo by Cory Weaver It's Nutcracker season again! Actually to be more precise it's warhorse season in NYC. Thanksgiving-Christmas is not the month for artistic institutions to take risks. It's tourist season, and so this means lots of Messiah's, Revelations, Rockettes, and Snowflakes. This is cash-cow time. With that being said the quality that companies maintain these warhorses can be a good measure of the overall health of that company.  I hope to catch Alvin Ailey's Revelations and a Messiah before the season is done. And maybe another Nutcracker . Thanksgiving week I kicked off my tour of the warhoses at the Met for their reliable warhorse  Aida  and at NYCB for  their  money-tree,  Nutcracker .

Anna Netrebko's Manon Lescaut Provides Huge Waves of Sound ... And Little More

Anna Netrebko, photo @ Ken Howard Anna Netrebko's much-anticipated Met debut of Manon Lescaut  was a dream if you're the type of opera lover who craves huge, unstinting waves of sound to flood the auditorium all evening. During "Sola, perduta abbandonata" she walked downstage, and simply released the flood-gates of her voice to the 4,000 person auditorium. It was glorious surround-sound. It was the high point of her portrayal. You just bathed in the aural experience. Netrebko is one of the few singers who can do this.  Her voice has even acquired a degree of flexibility it didn't have when she was younger -- she turned out a beautiful trill in "L'ora, o Tirsi." Netrebko has maybe THE finest vocal endowment on the opera scene, period. There's not much her voice can't do. The lushness of her voice, her effectiveness in projecting her instrument, along with her security at the very upper and lower ranges of her voice, are all amazing.

Company XIV's Paris

The adorable front-drop to Company XIV's Paris This isn't a political blog, so I won't talk about the single most depressing night in American politics that I've ever experienced . Instead I'll just talk about Company XIV and their wildly entertaining Paris that I saw last night. Again, they take a familiar myth (in this case, the Judgement of Paris) and give it a burlesque twist that combines a little bit of everything -- ballet, ballroom dancing, pole dancing, classical music, pop music, cabaret-style comedy and the rest of the kitchen sink. Director Austin McCormick has a knack for: 1) finding talented singers and dancers; and 2) harnessing those eclectic talents into a coherent, focused, appealing show. They don't take themselves too seriously but they're always professional. The show is naughty but never for a moment trashy. These are extremely talented classically trained dancers and singers who are just putting on a fun show. I highly recommend