WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Opera Scores a Triple Play

Three chamber companies cover early, standard and new operas

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Since 2012, opera has been turning up at The Famous Neons Unplugged, the Arts Center at Dunham, Westwood Presbyterian Church and beyond. Three companies with tiny staffs and huge ambitions demonstrate the art form’s enormous range and potential...  

Exit Laughing

University of Cincinnati graduate student Omer Ben-Seadia directs 'Don Pasquale' at CCM

1 Comment · Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Don Pasquale is Omer Ben-Seadia’s final production for CCM and a fitting conclusion to her CCM career, according to Robin Guarino, J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera.   

Grammy Haters, RELAX!

Plus, flatulence isn't always funny and Prince still hates the Internet.

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Open up your social media feeds from Jan. 26 and you’ll learn that this year’s Grammys were a crime against music and all involved should be executed.  

Singing The Personal And Political

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.  
by Drew Klein 11.18.2013
Posted In: Opera, Performance Art at 10:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
two boys_credit sara krulwich

REVIEW: Nico Muhly's 'Two Boys' (Metropolitan Opera, New York)

CAC performance curator Drew Klein reports from NYC

The main event Thursday evening was not a part of Performa 13. Instead, the evening saw my virgin visit to the Metropolitan Opera to take in the final night of composer (and frequent Cincinnati visitor) Nico Muhly's Two Boys. Muhly became the youngest composer to be commissioned by the Met when they asked him to create a new work in 2006. Having a run in 2011 in London in a co-production with English National Opera, Two Boys finally made its American debut last month. Based on true events in Manchester, England, 10 years ago, the story centers on a seemingly normal 16-year-old boy and his involvement in a confusing web of chat room relationships that ultimately lead to him stabbing and nearly killing a 13-year-old boy. It was, shall we say, not your standard opera fare. While I've not been to many an opera in my life thus far, I don't imagine there have been many to have featured projected chat acronyms and two separate instances of onstage masturbation. But on to the show. The story of Two Boys is a complicated one, without question. A young boy has been stabbed, his friend and the only witness, Brian, is the key suspect, and an over-worked and under-appreciated police detective is tasked with putting the pieces together in a case she never wanted to take. As we begin to learn more about Brian, we are shown a world of chat room conversations and desperate boys seeking connections that mean something. By the end, we understand that the young boy pretended to be three different people in various roles and chats with Brian, concocting an insanely complex story before, essentially, convincing Brian to stab him while he would repeat, “I love you, bro” to the dying boy. Everyone has access to a search engine, so I'll let you look up the story on your own... A certain triumph for Two Boys is the set design and realization of an online world on a physical stage. Multiple large-scale projections land upon movable walls that dance across the stage at various depths. Frequently these walls become transparent and reveal young people inside, half-illuminated by laptop screens. The multimedia execution inspired and amazed, serving to highlight the production's digital world concept and add a new and exciting layer to a traditional performance form. Knowing Muhly's work rather well, and having enjoyed the chance to see him twice in Cincinnati in the past 18 months as part of MusicNOW and Tatiana Berman's Constella Festival, I was eager to hear what he had done for Two Boys. I was somewhat surprised — though pleased — to find that this work did not veer too far from his compositional oeuvre; dark with intricate rhythms, the score never threatens to take complete control of the production, while the influence of modern composers like Benjamin Britten and Meredith Monk, as he acknowledged in the program notes, could be felt throughout. For me, the standout compositional moments came in the form of choral scenes performed by the company carrying laptops in their hands, faces lit and animated by the screens, feeling like a reference to the pull of the digital world and the countless hours young people like Brian spend seeking something of meaning in an environment of empty promises. Multi-layered lines repeating chat room requests and responses, the voices build to a disorienting swirl. In these moments, the marriage of precocity, tradition, and progressivism felt too immense to not hold your breath.
 
 

The Beat Goes on in Different Directions

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 21, 2013
From Bach and contemporary composer Missy Mazzoli to rarely performed operas and superstar vocal and instrumental soloists, Cincinnati's fall arts season underscores the creative shifts in musical programming. It’s not easy to choose highlights from an abundance of great offerings, but here’s one per month.  

Four Innovative Opera Performances

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Opera is the operative word for June. Cincinnati Opera kicks off its 93rd season with expanded venues, programming and some of the hottest singers on the scene.  

Wim Wenders’ Pina Projects ‘Dance Theater’ in 3D

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The idea of “dance theater” (“Tanztheater” in German) evolved from expressionist dance in 1920s Vienna, with a new form developing and spreading throughout Central Europe beginning in 1917. The term re-emerged during the 1980s and Pina Bausch, a student of one of the leaders of this school of dance, became a new school practioner of note.    

The Spanish Expedition

Cincinnati Opera’s Spanish-themed season offers creative, classic selections

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Cincinnati Opera’s summer season isn’t quite virtual travel, but you can experience Spain at four pivotal moments in its long history. Three operas are standard repertoire and one contemporary work has its regional premiere. And all were written by foreigners. “There’s a rich Spanish tradition of literature but it just didn’t make (it) into opera,” says Cincinnati Opera’s artistic director Evans Mirageas.   

The Real Deal

Robin Guarino brings vast experience to her new job at CCM

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Collaboration is a very active verb in Robin Guarino’s vocabulary.The new J. Ralph Corbett distinguished chair in opera at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music is widely acclaimed for her work with stage designers, choreographers and performers and recognized as an innovative educator training students in the arduous pursuit of a professional opera career.   

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