Posts Tagged ‘George mason Center for the Arts’

Holy Cornballs, Batman! Virginia Opera’s Die Fledermaus, Reviewed

Satire is tough to pull off in opera. Die Fledermaus, we are told, is really a sly spoof of 19th century Vienna’s decadent party-hopping upper crust. But to present-day audiences lacking such a point of reference, it just looks like a bunch of rich white people mincing around in silly costumes. Which is pretty much [...]

Bros Before Throes: Virginia Opera’s Pearl Fishers, Reviewed

The nice thing about modernity is, thanks to things like books and TV and the Internet, we can actually know what people in Sri Lanka are like: how they live, worship, their system of government, and so on. We don’t have to just make shit up like Georges Bizet did. His opera Les pêcheurs de [...]

Ghanaian Hip-Hop! Royal Drummers! Your Week in African Music

This is one of those weeks when it's tough to be a fan of African music: There's so much good stuff going on, it's impossible to take advantage of all of it.
Tonight, Ghanaian rapper Blitz the Ambassador is at National Geographic. Now based in New York, this wordy old-school influenced rapper—born Samuel Bazawule—came to the United States to [...]

Christopher O’Riley and Matt Haimovitz on Blonde Redhead, Philip Glass, and From the Top

Pianist Christopher O’Riley has been sneaking Radiohead into the classical music world for years. As host of NPR’s child-musician showcase From the Top, he gets to pick the music that gets played during station breaks. Rather than Chopin preludes, O’Riley would draw up piano transcriptions of pop songs, which he’d then play without preannouncing. It’s [...]

Virginia Opera’s Orphée at George Mason Center for the Arts, Reviewed

Philip Glass’s vision of hell has Orpheus and Eurydice being grilled about their love life by judges holding tea cups. It looks a lot like marriage counseling.
This probably wasn’t the point Glass wanted to get across in Orphée, presented this weekend by the Virginia Opera at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts. Glass wrote [...]

Chucho Valdes’ Afro-Cuban Twist on the Standards

Even from my nose-bleed seats at Carnegie Hall last month, Chucho Valdes’ hands looked huge and commanding as they swept across the piano. The reputation of the renowned 70-year-old Cuban musician got a bump 12 years ago in the film Calle 54, in which he reunited with his now 94-year-old piano-playing father, Bebo. Valdes and his band the [...]

Virginia Opera’s Aida at George Mason Center for the Arts, Reviewed

Opera isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time; the Virginia Opera’s production of Aida is a reminder as to why that is.  Giuseppe Verdi’s tale of a love triangle at the center of a conflict between ancient Egypt and Ethiopia can be a lot of things: war spectacle, costume pageant, political drama. In the hands [...]

Space, Time, and Structure in Motion, Saturday Night

First off, a caveat: I’m no expert on Trisha Brown. The New York-based choreographer might be a modern dance icon who’s repeatedly pushed conventions in her 50 years on the scene, but as of yesterday, I knew very little about her.
But her company is performing at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts tomorrow night, [...]

Saturday: Afro-Spanish Singer Buika

What a distinctive voice singer Buika, the Spanish-born daughter of African parents, possesses. Hailed by NPR as one of its “50 Great Voices,” the woman born María Concepción Balboa Buika will bring her raspy, mournful timbre to the George Mason Center for the Arts Saturday night. Over the course of five albums, Concha Buika, as [...]