Monthly Archives: April 2000

Phantoms of the Opera

Will American opera audiences ever see the Light? I wouldn‘t count on it, not while the Mmes. Butterfly and Tosca fatten their lead in the audience polls, on Momma Domingo’s cooking. The Light I refer to is the collective title of the formidable cycle of seven operas, now nearing completion, out of which we were […]

Mom Domingo Gets It Wrong

I have seen the operatic future — part of it, anyhow — and it makes me nervous. I view the L.A. Opera under the Domingo dynasty as a grandiose mom ‘n’ pop operation. Pop Placido nurses his aging voice, transposing the arias downward when necessary, and keeps his right arm in shape with a little […]


(Premiere: Houston Grand Opera, Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center, April 14, 2000. Future performances: April 16 (m), 19, 22, 25,28, 30 (m), May 6.) Life goes on, and so does Carlisle Floyd. “Cold Sassy Tree,” which brought a clearly  delighted audience to its feet at Houston’s Wortham Theater Center last Friday, is the fourth of […]


Times were, when a serious opera was considered properly staged when the time-and-place coincided with the libretto’s stipulation, and the words and music coincided with the composer’s final view of the work. Consider, now, these three productions by the Los Angeles Opera during its current season: a “Hansel and Gretel” with the moppets at large […]

Fiddlers Free

In common regard, the violin concertos — even the last three, which are the most often played — are a violinist‘s throwaway pieces, the easy music at the start of the program before getting down to serious stuff. Last week, Hilary Hahn played No. 4, with Jeffrey Kahane and his Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, at […]