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Reading the Arts

Wexford Songfest at St. Iberius

My favorite recital venue, anywhere in the world, is St. Iberius Church on Main Street in Wexford, Ireland. Built in the eighteenth century and famed for is flawless acoustics, St. Iberius puts the singer and pianist practically in the lap of the audience. We sit there, rejoicing in the complete absence of any emotional distance […]

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Wexford Songfest at St. Iberius

My favorite recital venue, anywhere in the world, is St. Iberius Church on Main Street in Wexford, Ireland. Built in the eighteenth century and famed for is flawless acoustics, St. Iberius puts the singer and pianist practically in the lap of the audience. We sit there, rejoicing in the complete absence of any emotional distance […]

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No Small Parts: Mary Beth Nelson Knows How to Make Each Moment Onstage Count

Mary Beth Nelson is a gifted young mezzo-soprano who is a member of Florida Grand Opera’s 2017–18 Studio Artist program. On Saturday, November 11, 2017, she opened in Miami at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts’ ZIff Ballet Opera House, in the small but key role of Alisa, the anxious confidante of the […]

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Showtime in Wexford

I first visited Wexford Festival Opera, on the southeast coast of Ireland, in 1992. It has been running since 1951, when it was founded by Dr. Tom Walsh, with a mission to present operas that have been out of the running in the repertoire. Among the memorable discoveries I have made over the years in […]

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Sins of the Brother: Troy Cook Sings Enrico in Florida Grand Opera’s Lucia di Lammermoor

Troy Cook has garnered an admirable reputation as an elegant, extremely musical lyric baritone on the international scene. On November 12, 2017, he opens as Enrico, the volatile brother in Florida Grand Opera’s season-opening production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, conducted by Alexander Polianichko and directed by Elise Sandell. Recently, Cook sat down for a […]

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Voyage of Discovery: An Interview with Soprano Anne-Sophie Duprels

The most revelatory individual performance at the 2017 season of Wexford Festival Opera was that of French soprano Anne-Sophie Duprels, as Katiusha, the tragic heroine of Franco Alfano’s Risurrezione, a long-neglected verismo gem, based on Leo Tolstoy’s novel Resurrection. My full review of the Wexford season will appear in one of the winter issues of […]

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Finghin Collins: Making the Piano Sing

On October 30, 2017, Wexford Festival Opera presented Irish pianist Finghin Collins in solo recital at the National Opera House. It was a stunningly performed program of varied music that was marked by both a keen sense of musical architecture and searching lyricism. Collins worked magic with his interpretation of Alban Berg’s Sonata, Op. 1; […]

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Palette: A Conversation with War Paint’s Scott Frankel and Michael Korie

Part of being a theater junkie is that we demand that the people we love feel as we do about a given work; when they don’t, we often ask ourselves what the hell is the matter with them. In the past ten or twelve years, I have often attended a new Broadway musical that seemed […]

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In Reno, a Jackpot of Big Voices

Whenever I am covering singing competitions in New York, one of the most astonishing revelations is the paucity of dramatic voices. Lyric mezzos, lyric sopranos, and lyric baritones dominate, and it’s not unusual to sit through days of auditions and not hear a single viable Verdi mezzo, Verdi baritone or even a remotely acceptable Wagnerian […]

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Past Continuous: An Interview with Alfred Allan Lewis

One of the great pleasures of all the years I have lived in New York is meeting people a generation or two before me who have had extraordinary careers in the arts. In a place like New York, this is surprisingly easy to do. Many of them I met through my job as an editor […]

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