Stravinskian Strawman.

“Former Boston Ballet principal dancer Yury Yanowsky, last seen with BLO as the condemned man in Philip Glass’s “In the Penal Colony” last season, slicked down his hair and donned a baggy beige suit and spectacles to represent Stravinsky himself. The character provided some moments of physical comedy, such as when tenor Ben Bliss as Tom stood in a kiddie pool in a thunderstorm and Yanowsky hurried to hold an umbrella over the hero’s head. However, the scene in which Tom loses all his fortune and possessions (“Ruin! Disaster! Shame!”) was transformed into a tour of Stravinsky’s supposed internal torment. The chorus, wearing short white wigs and beaked Venetian plague-doctor masks, held up tabloid newspaper front pages with headlines such as “Sell Out!” and “Stravinsky: Finished?” — needlessly diverting attention from the main arc of the drama. Most telling, the Stravinsky character was nowhere to be found during the most affecting scenes.”

For the Boston Globe. March 14, 2017.

Sprawl

“To sprawl, spread, and swell is the nature of mythology. No wonder, then, that Cerise Lim Jacobs’s 2005 birthday present idea for her husband — a song cycle based on an ancient Chinese myth about love between an immortal and a human — could not be contained in its natal skin for long. The final incarnation of that project, 11 years in the making, took over the Cutler Majestic Theatre all day on Saturday. “Ouroboros,” a cycle of three mystic operas (“Naga,” “Madame White Snake,” and “Gilgamesh”) by three profoundly distinct composers, is an enchanted exploration of the eternal mysteries humanity has always turned to mythology to explain: love, loss, hubris, mortality.”

For the Boston Globe. Nine hours of opera in one day, and three hours of writing.

Review: Prototype Festival (for SFCV)

It takes a special sort to be able to love New York City in January. The city’s teeth are at its sharpest, suddenly stripped of December’s gingerbread and tinsel. The wind through the skyscraper canyons pierces through even the thickest of coats and hats. Perhaps not too coincidentally, there historically haven’t been many reasons to venture into the long nights of slush and salt.

This year, however, sees the Prototype Festival present seven dark, surreal opera and music-theater productions in various stages of development — two world premieres, one North American premiere, two works in progress, a cabaret night, and a staged concept album featuring rock icon Courtney Love. It may just be the reason music lovers need to pull on their warmest scarves and go outside.

read the rest over here!