Author Archive for Mike Paarlberg

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 [...]

Big Talent, Not Much Personality: Nikolai Lugansky at the Kennedy Center

If you were to place classical pianists along a spectrum, you might picture one with Maurizio Pollini at one end and Lang Lang at the other. I'm not talking about skill—I'm talking about something a little less tangible: Call it panache, showmanship, self-aggrandizement, whatever. Of course, putting famous people on that spectrum skews to the [...]

Virginia Opera’s Carmen, Reviewed

Louis C.K. has a bit in which he notes how incredible it is that women continue to go out with men, given that the number one threat to women, and chief cause of injury and mayhem to them is, well, men. The number one threat to men? Heart disease.
So it’s worth remembering that in Carmen, [...]

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