Tag Archives: Production Review

Intriguing Lohengrin at Covent Garden

The action of Lohengrin is like a set of nesting dolls. As I wrote previously, the overarching action of the play is Henry the Fowler’s effort to persuade the Duchy of Brabant to join with the Saxon armies to defeat an invader from the East. Within this is a simultaneous story of Ortrud, whose false […]

Chicago’s Ring Cycle Keeps Building

The second installment of the new Lyric Opera Ring was, if anything, even more gratifying than the excellent Rheingold that I attended a year before.  Sir Andrew Davis, celebrating his 30th season at Chicago, led a charged, nuanced and richly romantic reading of the score, and the instrumentalists of the orchestra responded with impeccable musicianship.  […]

Bayreuth Meistersinger 2017

Barry Kosky’s new production of Die Meistersinger at Bayreuth is a polemic, suggesting that, in creating the role of Sixtus Beckmesser, Wagner intended to warn his audiences to reject the harmful influence of Jews on the integrity of German art.  Kosky asks further whether, in feeding this pernicious strain of German anti-Semitism, Wagner, along with […]

Vienna’s New Parsifal

Classic dramatic structure requires that a play feature a climax—a single moment in the action, necessary to the narrative, when the protagonist achieves self-awareness, accepts fate, and performs the action that the plot requires.  In Hamlet, it is the moment that prompts his declaration “The point envenomed too?  Then, venom, do thy work,” and fatally […]