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

“Thirty-Onederfuls” Are Coming!

Being a series of reflections and snapshots of 31 years of reviewing…and a lifetime of listening   Any of my regular readers who have been signed up for about a year and a half or so may remember that I touted a new series of posts collectively titled “Thirty-Somethings.” November 1, 2018 was the 30th… Continue reading “Thirty-Onederfuls” Are Coming!

A Duo of Near-perfection at Overture Concert Organ Series

Michael Hey and Christiana Liberis are the consummate musical couple   In the second installment of the Overture Concert Organ series Tuesday night, we were treated to the still seemingly unlikely pairing of organ and violin. Yet my first exposure to this wonderful series a few seasons ago proved that it provides an unexpected kind… Continue reading A Duo of Near-perfection at Overture Concert Organ Series

Madison Symphony Triumphs Over the “Soviets”

Oh, and Rachel Barton Pine makes a long-overdue MSO debut   Apparently it wasn’t the original plan, but when John DeMain and the Madison Symphony Orchestra managed to secure violinist Rachel Barton Pine for their second set of concerts this season, they agreed she would offer the Violin Concerto of Aram Khachaturian—alongside works of Prokofiev… Continue reading Madison Symphony Triumphs Over the “Soviets”

A True Operatic Rarity, a Major Masterpiece Masterfully Realized, and Something Truly New

Three recent releases from the Naxos family, each uniquely compelling   Charles Gounod: La nonne sanglante (Naxos DVD) Mention Gounod and at once Faust, and probably Romeo et Juliette come to mind. What…he wrote another dozen operas? Yes, and the story behind how La nonne sanglante came and got buried so quickly is fascinating; better… Continue reading A True Operatic Rarity, a Major Masterpiece Masterfully Realized, and Something Truly New

In Case You Hadn’t Heard…Middleton Community Orchestra Opens Its Tenth Season

Season is dedicated to John Barker, recently retired critic emeritus   Of course if you are one of my regular readers, you know that the Middleton Community Orchestra was about to commence on their tenth season of adding a unique experience to the greater Madison music scene. I finally got around to blogging about their… Continue reading In Case You Hadn’t Heard…Middleton Community Orchestra Opens Its Tenth Season