Author Archive for Mike Paarlberg

Christmas Cabaret Smackdown! A Broadway Christmas Carol vs. Holiday Follies

Is a “Text Me Merry Christmas” song dedicated to millennials (who were nowhere in the audience) really necessary?

Garrick Ohlsson with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Reviewed

Length aside, it’s a gorgeous piece, even more so in the hands of an expert soloist.

Aaron Goldman with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Reviewed

A star flutist is all well and good, but how many people would show up for two Stravinsky programs in a row?

Angela Hewitt With the NSO at the Kennedy Center, Reviewed

The Bach enthusiast ventures into non-Baroque waters.

Putting the Opera in Soap Opera: Three Decembers, Reviewed

Family drama that's sappy enough to draw sniffles but doesn't realize it's a parody.

Anaconda 5, the Opera: Florencia in the Amazon, Reviewed

Less Gabriel García Márquez, more Ice Cube and J.Lo.

Isango Ensemble’s Magic Flute and Venus and Adonis at Shakespeare Theatre, Reviewed

Classical operas played with impressive talent through a South African lens.

The Kennedy Center’s Michael Kaiser Steps Down to Do Less Managing, More Management Advising

Kaiser could be tone deaf at times, with "let them eat cake" moments and one alleged "go fuck yourself."

Giulio Cesare at Wolf Trap, Reviewed

There are arguments to be made against authenticity. In the classical music landscape, historically informed performance (HIP) has long since passed from niche trend to permanent fixture, applied especially to Baroque operas like Giulio Cesare. But when the original is over four hours long and calls for castrated singers, well, fuck authenticity, right?
So Wolf Trap [...]

UrbanArias’ Bastianello and Lucrezia, Reviewed

Sometimes being broke can be liberating. If you’re a smaller opera company with a limited budget, there are a number of directions you can go, all perfectly valid. You can do miniature versions of traditional operas, disposing of bit roles, whittling down orchestral scores to fit a string quartet. Or you can do chamber operas [...]

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