Follow that Brook at your Peril!

Laura Mead as The Girl and Milan Misko as The Hunter in Jessica Lang's The Wanderer. Photo: Takao Ao Komaru

Jessica Lang Dance in The Wanderer at Jacob's Pillow July 29-August 9. Die schöne Mullerin, a suite of Romantic-era poems by Wilhelm Müller, set to ravishing music by his friend Franz Schubert, conjures up visions of a mystical natural world in which a swift-moving brook urges a wandering miller to follow its course—one that brings him to a mill. What does this rushing water have in mind? … [Read more...]

Piaf Lives!

Christine Andreas and Pascal Rioult in Street Singer. Photo: Paul B. Goode

Pascal Rioult celebrates the centennial of Edith Piaf's birth in a nightclub setting. To get myself in the mood to write about Pascal Rioult’s Street Singer, a work celebrating what would have been Edith Piaf’s hundredth birthday, I dug up a relic from my family’s past: a 10-inch LP from the 1940s, Chansons Parisiennes (it had cost three dollars) and listened to Piaf sing “La Vie en Rose” (by … [Read more...]

Celebrating 50 Years of Artistry

Meredith Monk in her On Behalf of Nature. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Meredith Monk's new On Behalf of Nature at the BAM Harvey. “I work in between the cracks, where the voice starts dancing, where the body starts singing, where theater becomes cinema.” Meredith Monk said that in 1981. And although many of us knew her first as a startlingly original downtown 1960s choreographer, she has since composed music that interweaves various modes of performance and … [Read more...]

A Playwright and a Composer Meet in a Forest

Drew Paramore as Puck in Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble's The Fairy Queen. Photo: Brian E. Long

Christopher Caines directs and choreographs Purcell's Fairy Queen for the Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble. If I had looked carefully at the program for The Fairy Queen before the Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble’s ambitious conflation of Henry Purcell’s opera and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream had begun, I might have been tempted to make a run for it. Here, for example, are the roles that actor … [Read more...]

A Fountain of Music and Love

The Mark Morris Dance Group in Acis and Galatea. Photo: Ken Friedman

Mark Morris directs and choreographs Handel's Acis and Galatea for Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. It is beguiling to imagine George Frideric Handel’s pastoral opera Acis and Galatea receiving its first performance at the Duke of Chandos’s mansion on the terrace overlooking the gardens and their newly installed fountain. If the part about the terrace were true, guests at this 1718 … [Read more...]

Rituals of Love and Regeneration

Jeffrey Kazin (L) and David Parker sing their hearts out in Head Over Heels. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Souleymane Badolo at St. Mark's Church and David Parker's The Bang Group at Joe's Pub brighten a blustery weekend. How often do Valentine’s Day and President’s Day share the same long weekend? And how often do you venture out to see dancing in a city so snowy that Central Park evokes Valley Forge, and then discover upon leaving the performance that rain is pouring down and the street you … [Read more...]

Two Brits and Mark

The Ferryman (Edward Nelson) and the Chorus in Benjamin Britten's Curlew River. Photo: Hilary Scott

The Mark Morris Dance Group and Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Festival performs operas by Benjamin Britten and Henry Purcell. Mark Morris has journeyed into music in other ways beside making dances to compositions he loves. He has conducted orchestras, directed and choreographed operas. Two works presented in Tanglewood’s airy, wooden Seiji Ozawa Hall reveal his sensitivity to music in … [Read more...]