Monthly Archives: September 2005

Star Tracks

Photo by Dan PorgesShake Ernest Fleischmann summoned me to lunch a few weeks ago, to share the following concern: Under no circumstances, stated Ernest in his familiar brook-no-opposition tones, was I to miss the forthcoming Hollywood Bowl engagement of the young Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, the first-ever appearance in this country of a young man […]

Pained Notes

Marni Nixon is probably best known as the voice of Audrey Hepburn’s Eliza Doolittle in the film version of My Fair Lady. She continues her own stage career as well – most recently in a nationwide tour as Frau Schneider in Cabaret. “Smog is the reason I don’t live in Los Angeles any more,” writes […]

High Notes, and Low

More or Less Offenbach at the L.A. Opera in the hands of Garry Marshall . . . need I go on? Doom descends even before a note is sounded, when a smarmy character, gotten up to impersonate composer Jacques Offenbach in the flesh, pops up on the podium and tries to wrestle the baton away […]

Carrying On

Photo by Betty FreemanBoy Wonderful At 35, Thomas Adès continues to surprise, delight, mystify and elude me. If I had my way, everyone on the planet would own the new EMI recording of his recent Piano Quintet, as the indisputable evidence that classical music is still being created as a manner of expression urgent, powerful […]

Nerve Endings

To Any Lengths Gustav Mahler has some goddamn chutzpah. Envious of my general good feelings at the evening’s start, he rams a solo trumpet into my ear to kick off his Fifth Symphony. “These are my neuroses, my Weltkvetch,” he screams at me through the agency of a zillion-member symphony orchestra, “and you will pay […]