News & Features

August 14, 2017

Forget La Scala, Head to the Isle of Pittsfield

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Following on its acclaimed inaugural season of Madama Butterfly, Berkshire Opera Festival fully stages three performances of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos August 26th, 29th, and September 1st at the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield, in German with projected English translations. Tickets range from $20 to $98. In the eternal quest to quench our curiosity, BMInt chatted    [continued]

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August 7, 2017

BLMO Teaches the World To Sing in …

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“Anthems of the World,” Boston Landmarks Orchestra’s free Esplanade concert on Wednesday, celebrates multicultural musical outpourings: ‘Finlandia’ symbolizes Finnish independence. Dvořák’s urging for American composers to borrow from native sources led Amy Cheney Beach  to comply with her Gaelic Symphony. Gustavo Dudamel has raised Márquez’s ‘Danzón No. 2’ to popularity as one characteristic of all    [continued]

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July 30, 2017

The Redeeming Ninth

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The weather gods have ordered rescheduling. Tonight (August 3rd) at the Hatch Shell. The augury of the weather gods seeming providential, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, soloists, and chorus will resound across the Boston Esplanade with the glory of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. At 7pm August 2nd, music director Christopher Wilkins lead the early-19th-century journey from darkness to    [continued]

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July 20, 2017

Summer Opera To Lighten Moods

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Will you partake of this potion? Is it a con? All will be revealed as the Boston Midsummer Opera (BMO) presents Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (Elixir of Love) for its 12th season. The show runs on July 26, 28 and 30, at the Mainstage Theater of the Mosesian Center for the Arts, Watertown. How will    [continued]

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July 17, 2017

This Esplanade Orchestra Eschews Pop

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Conductor Christopher Wilkins will preside, as the Boston Landmarks Orchestra launches its 11th consecutive season of free concerts on the Esplanade this Wednesday, July 19 at 7 pm with a lively mix: Ralph Vaughan Williams’s English Folk Song Suite, Delius’s Summer Evening, Peggy Stuart Coolidge’s The Blue Planet, Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (with    [continued]

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July 12, 2017

Yellow Barn Opens Wide Its Doors

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Yellow is the color of the sun, daisies, corn. Yellow equates with hope, happiness, lucidity. It signifies energy, optimism, enlightenment — and remembrance. There’s a yellow barn in Putney, Vermont that’s home to a summer chamber music school and festival. Putney has proven fertile ground for apple orchards and progressive thinking since the 1840s: witness    [continued]

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July 10, 2017

Dramatizing Shostakovich

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The Emerson String Quartet will collaborate with seven actors in a new theatrical realization, “Shostakovich and The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy” at the Seiji Ozawa Hall on Wednesday, July 19th at 8 PM. Co-commissioned by Tanglewood Music Festival, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and Princeton University Concerts, the concept premiered at the Great    [continued]

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July 3, 2017

Newport Festival Ends Era

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One year shy of its 50th anniversary, the Newport Music Festival has disclosed that the family behind its operation since 1975 will cease to be involved following the conclusion of this season. Artistic Director Mark Malkovich IV, and his 85-year-old mother, Joan Malkovich, an invisible but potent force in the office, recently announced their retirements    [continued]

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June 25, 2017

Musical Intelligence in Antebellum Boston:

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After having participated recently in a scholarly gathering on 19th-century journalism, your publisher takes great pleasure in sharing with readers three papers and a response that summon the era of the Intelligencer’s unwitting antecedents. The presence of thoughtful essays on these pages echoes the intentions of John Sullivan Dwight, whose Journal of Music inspired this    [continued]

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June 17, 2017

High Cs at Twenty Paces

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Newton becomes Nürnberg for a night as Meistersingers duel for artistic gold rings (Niebelungen beware). An audience of Hans Sachs manqués attempting to tilt the decibel meter for their favorites at Newton Highlands Congregational Church (and again at Mechanics Hall in Worcester) will witness contests of glass-shattering and wallpaper-stripping from a cohort of Russian and    [continued]

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June 13, 2017

Noli to Opera Company: Mount Me

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Why stage the totally obscure Noli Me Tangere in the Strand Theater of Dorchester in these days of dramatically truncated arts funding with opera companies folding almost every month? For me, opera, albeit expensive, remains essential, particularly when some compelling lyric theater is forthcoming.  The co-producers, Opera Brittenica of Boston and KGB Productions of Chicago have very    [continued]

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June 11, 2017

BPYO Previews South American Tour

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About a month ago the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra decided to add an extra concert that unfortunately has flown under the usual concert listing radar. Anyone at Sanders Theater on Monday at 8:00 will find the orchestra giving itself a send-off gala to demonstrate its touring wares before impressing the capitals of Peru, Argentina and    [continued]

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June 9, 2017

Terra Incognita and Firma: Ayreheart and Kings

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At every biennial Boston Early Music Festival, new groups join the roster of the familiar and popular regulars. This year, Ayreheart debuts with Renaissance music from the British Isles. The ensemble of four was born out of Grammy-nominated lutenist Ronn McFarlane’s desire to feature his instrument, to “write new music for the lute, the most    [continued]

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June 6, 2017

Domesticating Dangerous Dances

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Sarabands, chaconas, and tangos will resound Thursday, June 15th at Slosberg Music Center, Brandeis University, as Aston Magna’s 45th Season gets underway. Featured artist Hector del Curto, bandoneon, will join Aston Magna musicians with music by Arañes, Bach, Bertali, Merula, Purcell, Corelli and Rodriquez. Artistic director Daniel Steppner’s interesting  essay follows. What do Bach’s Chaconne    [continued]

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June 5, 2017

Carrying Couperin to China

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BMInt’s far-flung correspondent Mark Kroll recently returned from China, where he gave concerts, lecture-recitals and classes in Beijing and Shanghai. He enlarges about the music he shared with new Chinese friends and colleagues, and what he learned from them. Chinese appreciation of the harpsichord and its history and literature is just beginning. I was therefore    [continued]

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May 28, 2017

Poseurs Beware: Patience Rings Fresh and True

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Odyssey Opera’s fully staged production of Patience; or Bunthorne’s Bride at the Boston University Theater completes the company’s vision of Oscar Wilde’s aesthetic. Conducted by Gil Rose, the show features Aaron Engebreth as Reginald Bunthorne, Sara Heaton as Patience, Paul Max Tipton as Archibald Grosvenor, and Janna Baty as Lady Jane. Tickets are available HERE    [continued]

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May 24, 2017

Island Musical Mentality

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Following an opening night gala by Renaissance Men, Boston’s acclaimed male vocal chamber ensemble on June 2nd, at 7:30 in the Village Church, the Nahant Music Festival has inked three concerts and associated masterclasses during the subsequent 7 days and nights. The complete schedule is here. Artistic director/baritone Don Wilkinson, a Boston fixture for 30+ years,    [continued]

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May 22, 2017

Sharpening La Rondine

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Reworking or remixing opera classics constitutes one of the hot current trends in American opera circles. Such transformations require more than a matter of rushing tempos and trimming dead space: in most operas, this requires significant rearrangements to the score and changes to the libretto, with choruses, duets, and even arias on the cutting room floor. These    [continued]

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May 7, 2017

A French-American Nexus at Le Lab

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In the May 19th conclusion of ECCE Ensembles’ two-year residency at Kendell Square’s Le Laboratoire, cross-cultural influence and dialogues will permeate. Ecce has already explored French composers Jean-Baptiste Barriére and Frank Bedrossian, as well as the excitingly imaginative opera by ECCE’s own John Aylward. Rather than simply contrasting the somewhat disjunct ideals of American and    [continued]

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April 17, 2017

CLT Conjures Majestic Demon

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Three weeks from now Commonwealth Lyric Theater mounts, they tell us, the nearly 150-year-late Boston premiere of The Demon, the 1871 Russian operatic masterpiece telling of the immortal Demon falling in love with a mortal beauty in the mountains of Georgia. The Demon will tread the Cutler Majestic Theater boards on May 18th and 20th. Artistic    [continued]

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April 13, 2017

‘Soir des Femmes’ Bigger and Better

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Nine months ago I reported on an enterprising group of young musicians who performed scenes from operas by historic female composers. However, the venue had only an electric piano, not what the enterprise deserved. So now Charlotte McKechnie and her “Soir” is back, and the Brookline Public Library Hunneman Hall venue has a Steinway baby    [continued]

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April 12, 2017

Crying With Teeth

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Getting ready for our Celebrity Series concert tomorrow at Sanders, I’m standing with a violist and a singer to my left, a cellist to my right, and another singer just behind us. Across the stage, the 18 musicians of A Far Cry and the 8 singers of Roomful of Teeth have interspersed themselves into a    [continued]

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Rockport Festival in Fine Fettle

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Violinist Joshua Bell opens the 36th Rockport Chamber Music Festival on a June 2nd benefit-tribute to one of the nation’s most successful and beloved presenters. Artistic Director David Deveau, who has led the organization for the last 22 years, presides this season in his signature avuncular style for the last time. On his watch, a regional    [continued]

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March 30, 2017

BSO Subscription Series Announced

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Next year’s Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2017-2018 Season contains a few real surprises. Once again there is a tendency toward the theater, the most radical choice being the complete Act II of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. Definitely a good choice, and preceded by the lovely Siegfried Idyll for chamber ensemble. Grieg’s familiar Peer Gynt music shares    [continued]

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March 18, 2017

For This Crowd, Crossing Over Not Forbidding

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Who or what brings the colorful players of the Forbidden City Chamber orchestra to Jordan Hall in company with the Borromeo String Quartet and one of our favorite pianists for crossover program inspired by mostly Eastern European composers? Cathy Chan, the quietly essential director of the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts comes to mind first    [continued]

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