Nico Muhli addresses Monteverdi with “irreverent veneration”

When producing a new Monteverdi “L’Orfeo” Premiering at Opera Santa Fe on July 29th, something about it might sound a little odd. Sure, there will be the usual Orfeo, in this case the tenor Rolando Villazon, and a familiar catwalk scene at the conductor Harry Beckett. If the staging by Yuval Sharon, one of the … Read more

Malaysia stops the festival after a kiss between members in 1975

The Malaysian government suspended a music festival in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday, a day after the frontman of British pop rock band The 1975 kissed a fellow band member and criticized the country’s anti-gay laws. “There will be no compromise against any party that defies, despises and violates Malaysian laws,” Fahmi Fadil, Malaysia’s … Read more

10 Essential Tony Bennett Songs

“Don’t walk around much anymore.” (1967) Bennett considered Count Basie and Duke Ellington the two greatest conductors he had ever heard, and with the great Milt Hinton on bass and regular Joe Newman Basie on trumpet, he swung easily and cheerfully on Ellington’s jazz standard. Bennett had something close to awe of the great jazz … Read more

Unwaveringly amiable Tony Bennett

Was there ever a more likable, pure pop character than Tony Bennett? Throughout his career beginning in the 1940s, Bennett, who died Friday at the age of 96, has maintained one mission, amiable and consistent. Never chase trends. He wasn’t defensive either. Instead, he’s allowed listeners—and, in recent decades, much younger duet partners—to come to … Read more

Bel Canto rarities, delivered in a matte and suggestive style

Oprah’s fanbase is often built around a preoccupation—enthusiastic, provincial, outspoken—with distinctive voices. Maria Callas, Rene Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Luciano Pavarotti – all of them are instantly recognizable by the bell alone. It is no coincidence that all of these singers have been outstanding recording artists. Teatro Nouveau, the brainchild of bel canto specialist Will Crutchfield, … Read more

Barpenheimer: The Unofficial Playlist – The New York Times

dear listeners, A long-awaited day has finally arrived: the cinematic collision of matter and antimatter exemplified by summer’s two biggest and perhaps most thematically disparate films, opening on the same date. To everyone who celebrates, very happy Barpenheimer for you. Talking about “Barbies” and “Oppenheimers” runs the risk of relying on lazy stereotypes about the … Read more

Review: Dancing with Dictators in David Byrne’s Here Lies Love

It’s no wonder, then, that the most expressive element of “Here Lies Love” (along with Clint Ramos’ costumes, which also move beautifully) is the choreography by Annie-B Parson. Based on small hand gestures and large traffic patterns, it suggests a fuller range of human participation than mechanical production and narrow focus sometimes achieve. Is it … Read more