Monthly Archives: October 1999

Grand Delusion

Around me at the Music Center, the crowd stomped and cheered. The forces onstage had aimed a dazzling rocket into their midst, and the sparks flew. Whatever the more substantial virtues (if any) of the composer Rodion Shchedrin, whose Fifth Piano Concerto got its first-ever performance at last week‘s Philharmonic all-Russian bash, or the pianist […]

Oprah as Opera

AT 8, MICHAEL ROUSE CHANGED HIS FIRST NAME TO “Mikel” because, he says, he liked the spelling. At 15, he ran away from home — in the “boot-heel” area of southwestern Missouri — and joined a carnival. “I did all kinds of odd jobs,” he remembers. “I ran the carny tricks, handled the fake hoops, […]

Star-Crossed and Sweetly Sung

You could arrive at the Los Angeles Opera‘s latest offering with a personal list, rather long, of the works still undeservedly neglected by the company: Verdi’s Forza for starters, Wagner‘s Meistersinger, the two Manons, and on and on. You’d be pretty far down the list before you arrived at Vincenzo Bellini‘s The Capulets and the […]

Elephant, Bull, Whatever

Photo by Lisa KohlerDRIVING INTO TOWN TO MEET PHILharmonic honcho-designate Deborah Borda at her first L.A. press conference, I found solace and sadness on KPCC’s Talk of the City, host Linda Othenin-Girard’s valiant daily attempt to elicit intelligent phoned-in comment from concerned citizens. The morning’s topic was the exhibition by young British artists at the […]

What Moses Imposes

MOSES UND ARON IS ON MY CONSCIENCE. Arnold Schoenberg’s opera, imposing even in its unfinished state, accorded unquestioned masterpiece recognition on the strength of its composer’s own eminence, is still — after 65 years — so seldom performed that its few revivals stand as major events. It made its belated first appearance at New York’s […]