Four impressive shows round out Cincinnati Opera's upcoming season
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
One intriguing opera in a new venue plus
three warhorses equals Cincinnati Opera’s summer season. Factor in casts
featuring many of opera’s most exciting and acclaimed young singers,
along with young directors and acclaimed conductors, and the formula may
come up a winner.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Composer Philip Glass’ 18th opera, Galileo Galilei,
telescopes the conflict between genius and dogma in 10 scenes, moving
backward in time as Old Galileo looks back on his life. By opera
standards, it’s brief: 90 minutes without an intermission.
A rarely performed 20th-century opera and a new work confront the clash of ideology and emotion
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The personal is definitely political in
two operas onstage this month in both Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave,
in which a young man chooses pacifism over a military career, and Fellow Travelers, based on the novel about a gay love affair during the McCarthy era.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Craig Irvin, Andrew Wilkowske and Gabriel
Preisser are enjoying a career arc that any opera singer would kill
for. All three performed in the world premiere of Silent Night,
an opera that garnered rave reviews, a Pulitzer Prize, a PBS broadcast
and subsequent productions, including this weekend’s from the Cincinnati
Opera, in which the singers reprise their original roles.
0 Comments · Tuesday, July 15, 2014
“Who told you Baroque operas are dull?” Andrew Garland says. “Who told you that?”
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Jake Heggie is one busy composer — a
rarity in itself. That he’s a busy — and successful — opera composer is
even more noteworthy.
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 28, 2015
In 2008, the University of Cincinnati’s
College-Conservatory of Music and Cincinnati Opera launched Opera
Fusion, an initiative to share resources and nurture emerging talent in
artistic and technical areas.
Cincinnati's artsy Tin Man gets a heart, plus art, theater, dance, music and film picks
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 20, 2014
A giant robot will soon be descending on the city.
Metrobot, the interactive aluminum sculpture by Nam June Paik, once
greeted visitors outside the Contemporary Arts Center’s former space at
Fifth and Walnut streets downtown.
by Anne Arenstein
Posted In: Opera
at 08:48 AM | Permalink
Continues through July 27 at SCPA
Don't walk. Run to the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) to catch the remaining performances of La Calisto, an opera composed in 1653 that's equal parts romance and raunch, performed by a superb cast of singers, instrumentalists and dancers who are all clearly having a wonderful time.Composer Franceso Cavalli was savvy enough to take opera out of palaces and into public theaters, where he made a fortune. He used the story of virgin Calisto, a follower of the goddess Diana, who is seduced by Jove and transformed into a bear by the vengeful Juno. Diana has her own problems with hormones and so does another of her followers. There's not much sacred and a lot of profane, not to mention profanity.There's a lot of transformation going on: Jove disguises himself as Diana to get it on with Calisto, meaning that bass baritone Daniel Okulitch puts on a long white robe, dons a wig and sings in convincing falsetto. A horny follower of Diana is sung by a male, a high soprano takes on the role of a frustrated satyr — and just what gender are the rest of Pan's satyrs and Diana's huntresses? Ted Huffman's staging is witty and occasionally wild; the battle between Pan's and Diana's tribes seems to involve more than the six or seven dancers onstage, thanks to the acrobatic choreography of Zack Winokur.Okulitch sings Jove with the requisite authority and gravitas, which also renders him ridiculous when lust for Calisto overtakes him. Okulitch is equally adept singing in falsetto, which is no easy task when it involves vocal ornamentation. Andrew Garland, a great recitalist with innate comic instincts, is a natural as Jove's gofer Mercury. Aaron Blake may be diminutive in stature but he has a huge, ringing tenor, and he was a hilarious Pan. Michael Maniaci sang Diana's lover Endymion, his pure male soprano giving the role genuine tenderness. Lyric tenor Thomas Michael Allen sang the role of libidinous nymph Linfea.The women are all excellent, especially soprano Nathalie Paulin, a convincingly innocent Calisto. Mezzo Jennifer Johnson Cano was a formidable Diana, singing with authority and melting emotion. Alisa Jordheim's agile soprano easily handled the demands of the frustrated Satirino, and Alexandra Deshorties embodies vengeance and fury as Juno.The chamber orchestra is joined by the phenomenal Catacoustic Consort and during intermission, a lot of the audience stopped by the orchestra pit to check out the theorbos, Baroque harp, lirone and viola da gamba. Conductor David Bates led a lively, nuanced reading of the score.The action plays out on a unit set used for last year's Galileo Galilei, with a wonderful star curtain that descends as Calisto ascends to the heavens to become Ursa Major, or the Big Dipper.La Calisto is Cincinnati Opera's first Baroque opera and they couldn't have made a better choice. It's heavenly.La Calisto, presented by Cincinnati Opera, continues July 23, 25 and 27 at SCPA's Corbett Theater. More info here.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 11:22 AM | Permalink
I saw Cincinnati
Opera's production of Silent Night on Thursday evening. It's the
regional premiere of a work that won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for music, and our
local opera is doing a bang-up job of presenting it. And "bang-up" is
the operative term: This opera is set during some of the darkest days of World
War I, and the opening segment of the production reproduces the violent and
deadly combat between troops from England (actually a regiment from Scotland),
France and Germany. You're not likely to see a more gripping onstage
representation of battle than what's happening at Music Hall. Before Thursday's
performance I listened to composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell talk
about how to "musicalize" such a scene: Their research included
studying the opening sequence of the Saving Private Ryan, the graphic,
Academy Award-winning film of the D-Day invasion during World War II. It's a
powerfully real scene, a perfect opening to the moving tale of soldiers pitted
as enemies who found common ground in one another's humanity on Christmas Eve
1914. You can get good seats for the concluding performance on Saturday evening (7:30 p.m.)
for $30-$45 by calling the Opera's box office: 513-241-2742.
high school students are the talent in onstage for Commonwealth Artists Summer
Theatre (C.A.S.T.) at Highlands High School (2400 Memorial Pkwy., Fort Thomas).
Starting tonight is a two-week run (July
11-20) of The Addams Family, a Broadway
musical based on cartoonist Charles Addams' bizarre and
beloved family of characters. The group is headed up by Fort Thomas
theater instructor Jason Burgess, who has assembled theater kids from the
Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky who are eager to develop their skills
in performance and production. Tickets: $10 (http://www.showtix4u.com) or at the door.
Tony Award-winning musical next to normal, about a
woman with bipolar disorder, gets not one but two productions by
Cincinnati-area community theaters: Sunset Players on the West Side and
Paradise Players for East Side siders. You can choose between them tonight. The
venerable Sunset Players, which presents shows at the Dunham Arts Center (in
the Dunham Recreation Complex, 4320 Guerley Rd., Price Hill), has performances
through July 26,
mostly at 8 p.m.
Tickets ($14-$16): 513-588-4988. Meanwhile,
Paradise Players, a newish group offering summer productions at McNicholas High
School's Jeanne Spurlock Theatre (6536 Beechmont Ave.), is presenting its
rendition of the show this weekend only, tonight at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at
2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $15 (http://mcnhs.seatyourself.biz).
tend to be a bit harder to come by at Northern Kentucky University for a
dinner-theater production by Commonwealth Theatre Company of Route 66.
It's about a band traveling from Chicago to the West Coast in the 1960s along
one of America's most legendary highways. Along the way, they meet a lot of
colorful characters and see a lot of America. The production features four
solid local performers: Wes Carman, Roderick Justice, Dain Alan Paige and Joshua Steele
are likely to make this a very entertaining evening. Through July 27. Dinner
and the show ($30): 859-572-5464.