A Stunning Start to University Opera’s Season

“Coronation of Poppea” truly a crowning achievement   I’ve developed the deplorable habit of opening my review blogs with a whining apology for being so untimely in my posting, but in the case of University Opera’s production of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea (“The Coronation of Poppea”), I needed more time to digest it than it… Continue reading A Stunning Start to University Opera’s Season

Tidings of Great Joy (for the 25th time)

“Madison Symphony Christmas” replicates its winning formula   I’ve only heard the last nine editions of the “Madison Symphony Christmas,” so I’m not sure exactly how long it took music director John DeMain to hit upon his winning formula. Last weekend was the 25th edition during his tenure, and perhaps the most impressive thing about… Continue reading Tidings of Great Joy (for the 25th time)

All That Glitters Isn’t Gold

2017 Van Cliburn silver medalist makes local debut at Salon Piano Series   Among the things I’m thankful for this year is that I have my own blog site—and that even when I’m shamefully late in reporting on an event, it can still be read and shared. In other words, I’m apologizing to Kenny Broberg,… Continue reading All That Glitters Isn’t Gold

DeMain’s Gift to “Lenny”

Madison Symphony joins the global celebrations of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday   Leonard Bernstein’s 100th  birthday fell on August 25 of this year, but if you think the Madison Symphony and John DeMain were late to the party in celebrating this still larger-than-life icon, don’t fret. Some locales began after August 25, 2017—the year leading… Continue reading DeMain’s Gift to “Lenny”

Madison Opera Goes Old School

Some great singing and a traditional approach revive “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci”   It has been more than 30 years since Madison Opera staged that once-ubiquitous double bill of one-act operas, “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci.” That’s nothing—I’ve been attending and listening to opera for a little over half a century, and I never managed to… Continue reading Madison Opera Goes Old School

Madison Symphony Gives Warm Welcome to Two New Guests

Canadian conductor Tania Miller and cellist Zuill Bailey are the latest to discover the joys of the MSO and Overture Hall   Madison Symphony music director doesn’t miss many concerts, but when he does it’s always intriguing to see how the group will respond to a fresh dynamic. This past weekend saw the local debuts… Continue reading Madison Symphony Gives Warm Welcome to Two New Guests

Harbison and Stucky Headline a Stirring Naxos CD

Fascinating program from conductor David Alan Miller   A recent CD in the “American Classics” series from Naxos offers a compelling combination of works, masterfully played by the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic, conducted by David Alan Miller. John Harbison headlines the booklet, but the first work on the disc is the earliest, Sun-Treader, by Carl… Continue reading Harbison and Stucky Headline a Stirring Naxos CD