Monthly Archives: June 2003

Thirteen Operas in 12 Days

At the Los Angeles Opera, Don Giovanni sang his seduction music to Zerlina while escorting her toward a blood-red bed built for two. In Long Beach, cops and thugs and modern-day terrorists stalked the streets of 18th-century Peru. In San Francisco, Mephistopheles turned up in Faust’s study sporting a crimson baseball cap, and a modern […]


A staging of Don Giovanni that honored the rubrics of Lorenzo da Ponte’s dramatic outlines, and nothing more, would probably rank these days as downright retrograde. Such backward steps certainly do not figure in the 17-year history of the Los Angeles Opera. Its first production — by Jonathan Miller in 1991, all in gray on […]

The Control Freak Decontrolled

It was 41 years ago when Pierre Boulez, the newly arrived dark cloud on the New York scene, first sat down with me to discuss the future of the C-major scale and similar weighty matters. He had only recently emerged as a pulverizing presence on the musical landscape; in one famous interview, he had called […]


Photo by Betty Freeman Bill Kraft pushes on toward 80; Mort Subotnick has just steamed past 70. Leonard Stein’s 87th looms on the horizon. In successive Wednesday-night concerts at the County Museum in May, all three geezers were the matter at hand: Bill and Mort with major compositions performed by two of our best musical […]