(Cambridge) An aggressively weird audio feast, this Beowulf is a musical take on the millennia-old epic-poem. The dialogue performs the syntax gymnastics of Seamus Heaney’s translation while the songs are guttural and set to a frantic, pleasing percussion. Banana Bag and Bodice’s production, though, both honors the source material while dissecting it. Continue reading →
(Watertown) Amelia Broome doesn’t use a Greek accent in her portrayal as international treasure and opera superstar, Maria Callas. The audience doesn’t have the luxury of knowing why Broome chose not to use an accent. Broome’s performance is effective without one so the reasons don’t matter.
Master Class is a grand opportunity for non-Classical singers (plebes) to experience the horror and joy that is operatic study. It is a (relatively) cheap vocal coaching for its length and history wrapped in a convenient package. The dialogue is only slightly dramatized for the benefit of the audience. The majority of Callas’ lessons and helpful hints are comments that any voice teacher could and would give her student. The majority of these same lessons and hints are conveyed in a similar manner as well. Continue reading →
(Norwood) The Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra (URO) rocks. They have made a brilliant career out of rocking classics by musicians such as The Beatles, Bowie, and Queen. Last night’s performance of Jesus Christ Superstar was no exception. Put simply, they capture all the funk that Andrew Lloyd Weber missed. Continue reading →
(Cambridge) The thing about going to a college production is this: it takes place at college. Therefore, coming into this production, I felt a great sense of trepidation, because I recently got over my own bout with college and I am still susceptible to triggers. Fortunately, I only have a few symptoms left: occasional twitching, a diploma and a pair of college-apparel socks. But here, it was dangerous: there were post-college stress disorder triggers everywhere. There were all the trappings of university life: the dining hall (where the production took place), the ill-rendered student council campaign poster deftly incorporating the “M-F” word, and of course, the nearly-full take-out container of sushi casually tossed in the trash. This kind of thing can transport you back to your own college days with the kind of nostalgia so profound it requires Kaopectate. Continue reading →
There are some culture-lovers reluctant to attend an evening of opera. Some fear pomp and stuffiness; others fear boredom. These fears encumber the uninitiated with false bias against the excellence that only classical music can convey. H&H’s performance of The Indian Queen was entirely lacking in snobbery and the program notes were jam packed with enough historical trivia to entertain a fidgety toddler. The music of Purcell was warm and gentle. It wrapped around the audience like an electric Snuggie; a balm for the bitter winter chill. Continue reading →
(Needham)The Barber of Seville was made famous in popular culture by the Bugs Bunny cartoon, “The Rabbit of Seville,” in which Bugs violently shaves a reluctant Elmer Fudd. The beautiful music by Giacomo Rossini could charm the pants off of anyone with ears. It is the timeless warmth and wit of Rossini’s opera that would bring you to watch Longwood Opera’s production of Barber but it is the individual performances of the cast that would keep you in your seat. Continue reading →