Sunday, October 27, 2019

Tucker Gala 2019: RBG, High Notes, and Cilea; Orfeo Recovered

Lisette Oropesa, 2019 Richard Tucker winner
Today's annual Richard Tucker Gala has all the usual suspects in attendance. The great SCOTUS judge and operaphile R(uth)B(ader)G(insburg), this year's winner (Lisette Oropesa) past winners, sparkly gowns,, and of course, Barry Tucker's #1 love: Francesco Cilea. Relationship goals is to have someone love me as much as Barry Tucker loves Cilea.

Because of who happens to be in NY this time of year the lineup was less starry than usual. But there were no cancellations, so there's that.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Alicia Alonso, Written Word and Video

Alonso in 1949
Alicia Alonso, the grande dame of Cuban ballet, has passed away at the ripe old age of 98. A list of Alonso accomplishments (original ballerina of Balanchine's iconic Theme and Variations of which a tantalizing bit of video exists, star of American Ballet Theatre, founder of National Ballet of Cuba) would be as long as Alonso's life.

Instead as I'm home yet again because of an awful ankle injury, I'm looking at Alicia Alonso films and comparing them to the written word. Alonso was a favorite subject of famed critic Edwin Denby and trying to compare what Denby thought with video evidence is important, because Denby saw her in her absolute prime in the 1940's.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

NYCB Fall Season Wrap-Up

NYCB dancers in Summerspace, photo @ Erin Baiano
I've been covering the NYCB fall season for bachtrack. I wasn't able to go as often as I'd wanted mainly due to an ankle injury that keeps getting worse. But the three major events were:

A Blessed Scottish Opera?

Meet the Macbeths, photo @ Marty Sohl
In theater there's this thing called "the curse of Macbeth." Really horrible, rotten, bad things are supposed to happen when Shakespeare's play is performed. Performers believe this as much as biology teachers believe that Jamie Lee Curtis is intersex. Some performers have taken this superstition to the extreme by referring to it only as the "Scottish play."

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

RIP Jessye Norman

Norman and Obama. Ah, a time when a president could do these things
The great American soprano Jessye Norman passed away yesterday. My own story about Jessye is small but here goes: after a very bad period in which I gained a lot of weight I took up running a few years ago and quickly learned that the miles went by quicker if I listened to beautiful music. Jessye's album of the Four Last Songs quickly became my favorite workout recording: at 40 minutes the album was perfect for my route, and Norman's lush gorgeous voice somehow made the miles and sweat easier. I listened to it over and over again on my workouts. I recently came down with a bad ankle sprain and have to stay off the ankle for awhile. When I'm able to work out again the first thing I'll do is put 4LL back on.

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...