Monthly Archives: April 2001

Passionate and Preposterous

You could write a history of musical consumerism around the varied positions that Bach‘s St. Matthew Passion has held on the scene in the quarter-millennium of its existence. You start with the century of neglect, then the rediscovery and reconstruction in the squishy harmonies to endow the work with proper Victorian manners. Then came the […]


Half a century ago almost to the day, a 21-year-old  dollar-a-gig super in an Otello in Los Angeles’ cavernous Shrine Auditorium was so bitten by the operatic bug that he chucked his pre-medical studies forthwith. Fifty years later, on the telephone from his general director’s office at the San Francisco Opera – back from a […]

The Generation Gap

Dirty old man gets hots for sweet young thing, ends up with egg on face. A week that began with Der Rosenkavalier in Costa Mesa and moved on to Don Pasquale at the Music Center bore reminders of how much of the realm of operatic comedy rests on that one plot device, and of how […]

Scores To Settle

Sometimes you have to ask yourself: Does the world deserve me, or vice versa? ”My opinion is correct; therefore, your opinion must be wrong“; so — in so many words — writes a self-appointed protector of Stravinsky on last week‘s Letters page. ”Natter natter,“ says a man no longer young, seated behind me at last […]