Monthly Archives: August 2012

A Beautifully Sung, Vexingly Staged, Lohengrin

In his informative lecture on Tristan this morning, Juilliard Professor John Muller reminded us of Berlioz’ reaction to the famous Prelude to that work: “I have listened to it with the profoundest attention and a lively desire to discover the sense of it; I have to admit that I still haven’t the slightest idea what […]

Bayreuth’s Dutchman: Crating Fans

There is a great deal of excitement in Der fliegende Holländer.  The overture is one source.  If you ever doubted Franz Lachner’s remark that “the wind blows out at you wherever you open the score,” the truth will be confirmed in the first minute of Christian Thielemann’s vivid conducting.  Fresh sound soars out of the invisible pit, […]

What Happens in Lohengrin?

As a student in the early 1970s I was fortunate to work with a young director named Ron Daniels.  Ron went on to work for many years at the Royal Shakespeare Company and recently has concentrated on directing opera — including the recent L.A. Opera premiere of Il Postino.  In Ron’s view of theatre — at […]

What a New Production Should Offer

The critical discourse that was prompted by the new Met Ring, combined with my plans to visit the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth for the first time in six years, prompt an attempt to propose a disciplined framework for analysis of a topic that, for many, is intuitive:  What do we look for in a new production of a […]