“Rusalka” Proves an Elusive Fairy Tale

Madison Opera closes season with Dvorak’s on-again, off-again near-masterpiece   What to do with Rusalka? Just like the Prince in Dvorak and Kvapil’s telling of the Czech version of “The Little Mermaid,” we can never fully possess her as a woman, and, while he may decide that as a water sprite she really is to… Continue reading “Rusalka” Proves an Elusive Fairy Tale

There’s a New Prince in Town

John Lindsey aims to charm Madison Opera audiences in Dvorak’s Rusalka   John Lindsey undoubtedly cut a fine figure (and surely sang well) in his Madison Opera debut last summer at Opera in the Park. But this weekend will mark his stage debut for the company, as it closes its season with Dvorak’s luminous fairy-tale… Continue reading There’s a New Prince in Town

Olga Kern And DeMain Deliver Again

A touch of new(er) and old classics from Madison Symphony   If the opening concert of John DeMain’s 24th season with the Madison Symphony Orchestra eschewed a major guest soloist (a DeMain tradition—and not a bad one!), it also stayed far away from major warhorse repertoire. The first of three performances of the season’s second… Continue reading Olga Kern And DeMain Deliver Again

All This!!…and Dvorak, Too?

Adding great music making to the recipe makes a visit to Door County all the more irresistible   Everyone who falls in love with Door County (and I’ve come to believe that means everyone who has ever been there) has no trouble naming a handful of things that make them want to go back: the… Continue reading All This!!…and Dvorak, Too?

A Reminder of Why We Go to Concerts

15th season finale of “con vivo” yields some surprises   I hadn’t thought about it specifically in a while, but I suppose when I go to a concert, it’s either for the performer(s), the music that is to be played, or most often, some combination of both. It had been at least two seasons since… Continue reading A Reminder of Why We Go to Concerts

New CD “44 Waltzes (on 88 Keys)” a Real Treasure

Pianist Peter Schaaf should be encouraged to bring us “Act 3”   First things first: File this review under “better late than never.” I received this new and intriguing recording in the fall, with every intention of reviewing it well before the holidays. Here’s hoping some readers will buy this for themselves—and find a good… Continue reading New CD “44 Waltzes (on 88 Keys)” a Real Treasure

“Simple Gifts” Provides an Instant Getaway

New CD from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is an exquisite experience Even if we manage to “get away from it all” once or twice a year on vacation, most of us would say that we wish we could catch our breath a little more often. Here’s a prescription that should work for… Continue reading “Simple Gifts” Provides an Instant Getaway

Rhapsodie Quartet Leaves the Toys at Home

The ensemble best known for its HeartStrings work melts a Promenade Hall crowd The Rhapsodie Quartet can most often be found at places like an Agrace hospice facility, Central Wisconsin Center, or a local school, not just performing, but viscerally impacting people of all ages who are dealing with some profound physical challenges. (You can… Continue reading Rhapsodie Quartet Leaves the Toys at Home