Ardor

Noun, meaning enthusiasm or passion. I like that. I have been savoring the new play, Ardor, by Matthew Gasda, ever since I had the privilege of experiencing it Saturday evening, and I wanted to be sure I understood the exact meaning of its title. How to write about it coherently, however, eludes me. The play…

Kings of War

I sat on the G train on Friday evening — headed to Brooklyn Academy of Music — wondering if I had made a big mistake. Kings of War, performed in Dutch (with surtitles) by Toneelgroep Amsterdam and directed by Ivo van Hove had seemed like a no-brainer. (His Antigone at BAM last fall was fantastic.)…

Letter to a Man

A jarring buzz. The sound of a whip cracking? There are voices all around me. I am not sure where they are coming from. The voices repeat themselves exhaustively — sometimes in Russian. Lights flash on, then abruptly off. Random snatches of music enter my awareness. A man moves like a dream – glacially. Did…

Vortex Temporum

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is one of the contemporary choreographers I most admire. I discovered her accidentally, through my love of contemporary music. The first time I saw her work was at Brooklyn Academy of Music, when her dance company, Rosas, presented Drumming, performed to the seminal  percussive work of the same name by Steve Reich. I already…

The Hunger

Someone once told me that you can tell how fantastic a music festival is if the number of bands you wished you could have seen is equally as long as the groups you did get to see. This rule certainly applies to the BAM Next Wave Festival. The list of what I wish I could…

Phaedra(s)

I set off a smoke detector as I left the Brooklyn Academy of Music last night, but it was not because I was smoking. It was because of the hot mess of passion Aphrodite stirred up in the poor Phaedras – all three of them — played with a sizzling ferociousness by the inimitable French…

the loser

This is how “preaching to the choir” might look, I thought, as I sat in the mezzanine, completely enthralled by the story that baritone, Rod Gilfry — who was terrific in Anna Nicole — sang to us last night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. This was the world premiere of David Lang’s opera, the loser, based on…

the public domain, final rehearsal with Simon Halsey and Annie-B Parson

“Singing is the best example I can think of, of people who don’t necessarily know each other … form[ing] a community to create something.” — David Lang, quoted in the Wall Street Journal regarding the public domain. I absolutely agree. I belong to many civic and arts organizations, and I have created the most diverse,…

The Hubble Cantata

The stars were certainly out in Brooklyn last night. I mean gazillions of stars — more stars than I have ever seen here in our light-polluted city. In fact, I felt like I was floating through the cosmos. I could see infinite space in every direction. There were shooting stars, and I even watched the birth of a star in…

the public domain: rehearsal with Simon Halsey

Get ready to mark your calendars! Last Friday we began weekly rehearsals for an exciting choral event to be held later this summer in NYC in the plaza at Lincoln Center. This Wednesday evening we had a special rehearsal with the delightful Simon Halsey — Choral Director of the London Symphony Orchestra — who will conduct…

Philadanco at Celebrate Brooklyn

I already knew there was a lot to love about Philadelphia — Reading Terminal Market and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among many things — but after seeing Philadanco perform in Prospect Park at BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, I have yet another reason to to adore this city and its cultural arts. I had no idea what to…

Fun Home

Sometimes life just dishes up the most amazing surprises. Take this week, for instance. I no sooner leave my Carnegie Hall performance on Sunday, but I learn that friends from Portland (Oregon) are in town visiting two of whom I am sure are some of the best school teachers (and their amazing spouses) in the city….