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Glimmerglass Opera

Cato in Utica

by B.A. Nilsson August 20, 2015

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  “Et in Arcadia ego” is inscribed on one of the trompe l’oeil stones forming the backdrop to Cato’s encampment in north Africa. “I am in Paradise,” the phrase suggests, and it’s an inscription often found ...

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Entry-Level Mozart

by David King July 30, 2015

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  The Magic Flute has and always will be absurd, nonsensical and up for wide interpretation. The Glimmerglass performance of the piece wasn’t designed to change any of this but instead offer modern audiences, youth especially, ...

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The Best of All Possible Shows

by David King July 30, 2015

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  Voltaire’s Candide is a satire aimed directly at the teachings of philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who preached that our world is the best of all possible worlds that God could have created despite the horrors ...

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Glimmerglass Festival

by B.A. Nilsson July 23, 2015

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  Even as the characters of Macbeth and his wife inspire each other to greater acts of infamy, so too do the roles that Verdi created vie in the realm of vocal demands. But with two ...

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High and Low

by B.A. Nilsson August 7, 2014

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  Two fish-out-of-water stories that nevertheless couldn’t be more dissimilar find a young Japanese woman trying to please her American lover by herself becoming as American as possible--and a starry-eyed composer forced to allow a commedia ...

Glimmerglass Festival

Doom, Glorious Doom

by B.A. Nilsson August 7, 2014

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  Poor Grace Brown! She was a small-town factory worker who would have lived an anonymous life had she not drowned in Big Moose Lake in 1906. Instead, she achieved a posthumous fame that lives on ...

Glimmerglass Festival

Master and Commander

by B.A. Nilsson July 10, 2013

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  First let’s salute scenic designer James Noone. If we’re not going to inhabit Norwegian cliffs, we need something as eye-catching as the abstraction of ship and rigging that framed the stage. But then let’s thank ...

Glimmerglass Festival

Transcendent

by B.A. Nilsson August 8, 2012

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  As the second act of Lost in the Stars gains momentum, Stephen Kumalo, an Anglican priest, faces a moral dilemma that threatens the foundation of his faith. “O Tixo, Tixo, Help Me!” he sings, and ...

Glimmerglass Festival

Baroque Style, Direct Emotions

by B.A. Nilsson August 1, 2012

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When the first conflagration erupted, it was a charming kerfluffle of lighting and drums. The next one was more frightening, because by that time I’d settled into more of a 17th-century sensibility and thus was ...

Glimmerglass Festival

Americana Perfected

by B.A. Nilsson July 25, 2012

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The two most famous examples of the stubborn face of Iowa are Grant Wood’s American Gothic and the song “Iowa Stubborn” from early in The Music Man. Appropriate, then, that they’re brought together—however anachronistically—in the ...

Glimmerglass Festival

A True Blockbuster

by B.A. Nilsson July 11, 2012

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Your average (and I do mean average) summer blockbuster movie has nothing on an old-fashioned, big-assed production of Aida. No amount of CGI can match the spectacle of livestock lumbering across the stage as a ...

Glimmerglass Festival

Musical Change, Social Change

by B.A. Nilsson May 30, 2012

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  Francesca Zambello had what could be argued was the best possible Metropolitan Opera directorial debut: Her 1992 production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor was all but booed off the stage. (The audience reacted with “a ...