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Mozart, Mahler, Znaider, Grosvenor headline great NSO concert

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2016 – Talk about “the Transformers…” Violinist Nikolaj Znaider, last week’s impressive guest soloist in the NSO’s fine presentation of Brahms’ massive Violin Concerto, returned to the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall Thursday as Maestro Nikolaj Znaider. Mr. Znaider conducted the orchestra in a tastefully elegant performance of Mozart’s very last piano concerto—the ...

A charming ‘La Finta Giardiniera’ in Santa Fe

SANTA FE, New Mexico, August 2, 2015 — After enjoying the Santa Fe Opera’s production of Mozart’s “La Finta Giardiniera,” here recently, it becomes easier to understand what infuriated Antonio Salieri about his young rival. The libretto of this still relatively unknown comic opera is painfully convoluted and its characters are two-dimensional, more or less. ...

Scene from "Don Giovanni."

The In Series’ Elmer Gantry take on Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2015 – For a guy who doesn’t much like “updates” to world famous operas—or Shakespeare for that matter—I have to give a big hat tip to Washington’s In Series. This feisty and long-lived company has consistently “updated” opera after opera in such a way as to keep both the music and form ...

Uneven ‘Don Giovanni’ opens to full house at Castleton Festival

CASTLETON, Va., July 8, 2014 – What is perhaps the most ambitious Castleton Festival season ever has continued to be haunted, at least a bit, by the absence of its founding father, veteran conductor-composer Lorin Maazel. Sidelined for the most part from his usual strenuous schedule since early spring of this year—an absence attributed to ...

Paul Appleby and Joshua Hopkins delight in Terrace vocal recital

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2014 – Rising young opera stars Paul Appleby and Joshua Hopkins appeared in a special recital at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater this Sunday past, offering an eclectic vocal program ranging from Beethoven and Mozart to American composer Paul Bowles’ “Blue Mountain Ballads.”  The artists were expertly accompanied by pianist and conductor ...