John DeMain Launches His 25th Madison Symphony Season

Five years have flown; shall we shoot for 30?   I hadn’t thought about it until I sat down to write this review, but five years can really fly by at my age…2013 marked John DeMain’s 20th anniversary as music director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and I was favored with penning an article for… Continue reading John DeMain Launches His 25th Madison Symphony Season

A Belated Bravo for the Savoyards

Yes, I was at opening night….don’t ask!   The Madison Savoyards decided to celebrate their 55th season by departing from the tried and true Gilbert and Sullivan format and put the spotlight on a contemporary operetta from another country, the justly beloved Die Fledermaus of Johann Strauss II (seen above in the famous Stadtpark monument… Continue reading A Belated Bravo for the Savoyards

University Opera Staging “Unanswers” All the Right Questions

Performance of Turn of the Screw evocatively staged   Bet you didn’t know that University Opera has a thing or two on Los Angeles Opera… Ok, forgive me a little hyperbole, but in the case of the production of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, there is some truth to it. It’s been at… Continue reading University Opera Staging “Unanswers” All the Right Questions

“Symphony Showcase” More Than Just Great Soloists

The UW Symphony Orchestra takes a starring role, too   It’s hard enough to keep up with the major professional musical groups in this town; if I have one chronic regret, it’s that I never catch up with enough of the great music-making on the UW-Madison campus. Last year I finally made it to one… Continue reading “Symphony Showcase” More Than Just Great Soloists

Madison Savoyards Ups the Ante

Production of The Gondoliers features a payday for all roles   Many faithful attendees over the last half-century-plus of summers of the Madison Savoyards, Ltd. productions of the beloved canon of Gilbert and Sullivan might not have felt that the company needed to grow in any particular direction. But chances are that, while undoubtedly all… Continue reading Madison Savoyards Ups the Ante

University Opera Makes a Case for “Transformations”

The Conrad Susa/Anne Sexton opera is given a compelling performance When it comes to finding an opportunity to experience operatic roads far less traveled by, thank heavens for University Opera: While doing their part in training young singers and crews with staples like last autumn’s Marriage of Figaro, they do themselves and their audience an… Continue reading University Opera Makes a Case for “Transformations”

Madison Opera Stands Tall for “Little Women”

(Eric Neuville as Laurie and Courtney Miller as Meg in Mark Adamo’s Little Women. Photo by James Gill). In presenting Mark Adamo’s 1998 operatic treatment of Little Women, Madison Opera continued a strong and welcome tradition of presenting worthy recent works, particularly by American composers, and effectively utilizing the more intimate Capitol Theater. When a… Continue reading Madison Opera Stands Tall for “Little Women”