Author Archives: peterp

Lohengrin as Nudnik

The production of Lohengrin at the Opéra National de Paris, which I saw in early February, prompts inquiry into the creative process by which theatre artists choose interpretation of classic texts. Many years ago I was involved in a production of e.e. cummings’ obscure play him, where the director extracted from the text a running […]

Sony’s Set of Nikolaus Harnoncourt

  We pause in our Wagner musings for a report on a purveyor of pure beauty.  Sony has released a huge (61-CD, 3-DVD) collection of the complete recordings under its label by Austrian cellist and conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016).  To sample through this gargantuan box is to hop from one point of perfection to another. […]

Chicago’s Brilliant Rheingold

If the entire Ring Cycle now being mounted at the Chicago Lyric Opera has even a fraction of the intellect and panache that the first installment, Das Rheingold, displays, then the Windy City is in for a treat.  Between the Cubs and David Pountney, Chicago is having a hell of a good Fall. Musically, the […]

The Met’s Superbly Sung, Strangely Staged, Tristan

The Met Opera opened its season with a new production of Tristan und Isolde Sein Vater, using Wagner’s score (if not his story) in a sumptuously, even thrillingly rendered performance. Simon Rattle was true to his name and shook both the score and the audience of preconceptions.  It felt a bit long and all the […]