Beethoven—and His Kitchen Sink

Being the first of three reviews of the Naxos 90-CD boxed set   In case you hadn’t checked your calendar and done the math—or somehow hadn’t heard yet—2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. Since his birthday was December 16, we’re still more than a year away from the actual celebration, but that hasn’t… Continue reading Beethoven—and His Kitchen Sink

WYSO Wows with a Wondrous Performance

Charter member Nancy Goeres returns with a Pittsburgh colleague   TheWisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra is no “hidden gem” in Madison’s musical scene; after all, the organization is in its 53rd season. Starting with a single ensemble, “WYSO” now incorporates three orchestras, three smaller ensembles and Music Makers. The oldest group is the Youth Orchestra, and… Continue reading WYSO Wows with a Wondrous Performance

Yes, “Hamilton” Is That Good

Touring company at Overture Center enlists a new fan   I always like to reiterate to my readers that I am no Broadway musicals expert, and even in the repertoire that I’ve enjoyed most over the years, I’m definitely old school. That has nothing to do with why I hadn’t sought out Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton… Continue reading Yes, “Hamilton” Is That Good

Maxim Lando Overshadows the Hype

Seventeen-year old soloist at Salon Piano Series exceeds high expectations   As I looked around the showroom at Farley’s House of Pianos Sunday afternoon at 4, I could not remember the last time — or if ever — so many had been seated for a Salon Piano Series event. Then again, I could not remember… Continue reading Maxim Lando Overshadows the Hype

David Ronis and University Opera on a Winning Streak

Season-opener A Midsummer Night’s Dream is provocative and full of merit   In his last few seasons at the helm of University Opera, director David Ronis has succeeded in making the remarkable more or less the norm—and last Friday night at the opening performance of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ronis had the evidence… Continue reading David Ronis and University Opera on a Winning Streak

Opera the Way It Was Meant to Be

Madison Opera opens its 59th season with a spot-on La Traviata   Call me old-fashioned—or if you prefer, an old-school conservative—but when it comes to the way an opera should look, I generally want operas such as Carmen to look the way they did when the creative teams created them. Thus I came away from… Continue reading Opera the Way It Was Meant to Be

“Thirty-Onederfuls,” Number One: How It All Began

The tale of how I was “discovered in Hollywood” by a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic   November 1, 2019 marks 31 years since my first published review, and it is only fitting that my first (long-delayed!) entry in my memoir-ish series of “Thirty-Onederfuls” should tell the story of how it all began. Besides, my beloved and… Continue reading “Thirty-Onederfuls,” Number One: How It All Began