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The Divas and Divos of December

Concert opera leavens New York’s repertory in salutary ways. The Collegiate Chorale’s December 5 mounting of Vincenzo Bellini’s penultimate work, “Beatrice di Tenda,” was a worthwhile and Comment

Newlywed Gay Glamour, Supporting LGBT Youth Share Stage on “Bare” Opening Night

A new production of “Bare,” a rock musical that attracted a cult following in earlier incarnations, opened at the New World Stages on December 9, with a splashy afterparty at the Out Hotel on West 42nd Street. Comments (1)

All the Right Moves Brought to ‘Bare’

"Bare,” the topical, edgy rock musical about two Catholic boarding school dudes in love, has had well over 100 productions since it premiered in LA in 2000, amassing a rabid cult following. And now it’s back in New York in a vibrant, retooled version playing at The New World Stages. Comment

Leung Power

Although he’s still so very young, I consider Telly Leung already a Broadway veteran for all the considerable pleasure he’s given me over the years, with his soulful, honeyed tenor and dazzling energy. He really emerged a star last year in the revival of “Godspell,” and now has a new CD out, “I’ll Cover You” (Yellow Sound Lab). Like the title says, it’s a collection of gorgeously arranged covers, all of whic Comment


The Met’s third performance of Thomas Adès’ 2004 “Tempest” took place in extraordinary conditions: New York City, including the opera house, had been virtually closed for two days after the most destructive local storm since 1938, with the most flooding since 1821. Millions of people remained in darkness and the crucial subway sys Comment

Dance Gets Better

The dance community has recently come together to bolster the momentum against bullying of LGBT youth in America and internationally. In the wake of a visible wave of suicides by gay teens several years ago, Dan Savage, a journalist and gay dad, and his husband Terry Miller initiated a campaign that aims to assuage the despair young men and women in isolated and unfriendly parts of the country — as well as in many accepting co Comments (6)

A ‘Sound Of Music’ Gay Infusion

Paper Mill Playhouse is reviving that most wholesome of musicals, “The Sound of Music” (Millburn, NJ, through Dec. 30;, and our tribe is being gloriously represented in it by two out and proud actors, Edward Hibbert and Joy Franz. Comments (3)

Fumbling the “Ballo”

Former bad-boy director turned respected grand seigneur David Alden made his Metropolitan Opera debut with a new production of Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera.” Alden overlaid his production with three parallel dramatic concepts, but they failed to coalesce into a compelling unified whole, instead adding layers of distracting a Comment

The Two Other Capitals

There are many important operatic strongholds in North America, with varying emphases and strengths. Yet the two leading contenders outside of New York remain what they were 50 years ago — Chicago and San Francisco. Fortunately for LGBT audiences, both are queer destination cities with much else to recommend them. Both offer Comment

Sandy: The Show Must Go On!

BY DAVID NOH: Sandy might have brought New York City to its knees, but nothing but nothing stops a show queen like me from sniffing out a good story. Ebullient triple threat actor Eddie Korbich recently enthused to me about appearing in the soon-to-open “A Christmas Story”: “It’s an iconic role in an Comment

The Man Who Dressed Michael Jackson

Costume designers really are the unsung heroes of show business and none is more of one than Michael Bush, who, alone and with his late partner Dennis Tompkins, iconically dressed Michael Jackson for 25 years. He’s just written a lavish book about these experiences, “The King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson,” in which, among many other things, he describes Ja Comments (2)

Powerful Men Controlled by Passion

2013 is the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth, so a Metropolitan Opera revival of his “Otello” was obligatory. The title role, though, is one of those like Norma or Carmen where good vocalism is not enough. The music requires a combination of vocal brass and subtlety, with the ability to dramatically go from towering rage to pitiful suff Comments (1)

Rachelle, Tituss, and Antonio

Rachelle Rak, the ultimate Broadway gypsy in a plethora of shows, ironically emerged as the star of a movie in which she played a definite loser. “Every Little Step,” about the making of the 2006 revival of “A Chorus Line,” devastatingly showed Rak losing the perfect-for-her role of Sheila — though, as she said, “I would never mark in an auditio Comments (1)

Elixir without Sparkle or Magic

The Metropolitan Opera opened its 2012-13 season on September 24 with a new production of Donizetti’s opera buffa“L’Elisir d’Amore,” rather light fare for such an important occasion. Peter Gelb felt the combination of superstar diva Anna Netrebko and his preferred direc Comment

From the East Village to the Opera House

Doug Varone and Dancers made their debut in 1986 at PS 122. Since then, the artist has sustained his career, his company, and his critically acclaimed dance-making while also emerging as a world-class opera director and choreographer. In December and January, the Metropolitan Opera is presenting a revival of the company’s mega-hit “Les Comment

Beltway Bel Canto

Like the Metropolitan Opera, both of Washington’s principal opera companies began their seasons with works from the bel canto repertory. The results were pleasing, though uneven. Comment

Cultural Dissonance, Musical Harmony 

The theme of this summer’s Glimmerglass Festival was “Cultures in Conflict.” Verdi’s “Aida” is usually performed in large theaters, but Francesca Zambello decided it perfectly fit her theme and the cozy 914-seat Alice Busch Opera Theater. Unfortunately, her moderni Comment

Broadway Goes Opera, And Vice Versa

Since taking over the Glimmerglass Festival last year, Francesca Zambello has scheduled a classic Broadway musical each season with opera stars performing the ori ginal score unamplified. This summer, she chose Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” (1957), Comment

Operatic Daytripping

When the Metropolitan Opera season ends in May, opera-addicted New Yorkers have to travel out of town to get their fix. Luckily, a few hours drive from New York City are the Caramoor Festival and Bard’s SummerScape, which provide unusual and stimulating operatic fare. Comment

Ancient Conquerors and Poets

Gioachino Rossini had only just turned 20 when “Ciro in Babilonia” premiered in Ferrara in March 1812, yet he already had composed four operas. Will Crutchfield conducted the US premiere of “Ciro” on July 7 at Caramoor with a cast that will perform it again in August at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro. Comment

Overjoyed Journey

The same day “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” was opening on Broadway, Evidence was leaving on tour. Ronald K. Brown, the choreographer on the “Porgy and Bess” creative team and founder and artistic director of Evidence, found himself straddling both worlds, an enviable if challenging position. Comment

Bay Watch

Mid to late June is a great time to visit San Francisco, since the terrific Frameline LGBT Film Festival (at which I have volunteered sporadically since I was a student) draws cinematic entries and crowds from all over the world. There’s nothing like the sprawling and inclusive San Fran Gay Day parade, not to mention the carnivalesque Pi Comment

Dark Horse Divas –– Anna Caterina Antonacci, Nina Stemme

The Metropolitan Opera has always prided itself on having all the best singers in the world on its roster. However, there have always been first-rate singers whose idiosyncratic gifts were either not appreciated by th Comments (1)

Opera Abroad   

Since my last visit to fabulous, gay-friendly Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company moved into the spectacular, comfortable Four Seasons Centre. Acoustics are certainly improved from its impossibly huge former venue. Though both conductors I heard were problematic — Andrew Davis overwhelming singers in Comment

Evergreen Songwriter

If any one person wrote the music soundtrack of our lives in the 1970s, that would have to be Paul Williams, composer of “Evergreen,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “The Rainbow Connection,” “Old-Fashioned Love Song,” “Love Boat Theme,” that wedding perennial “We’ve Only Just Begun,” etc. Comments (4)

Two Great 20th Century Operas Return

David Daniels gave an intriguing recital May 3 in Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium — a handsome space with a renovated concert series worth checking out. Part of the recital, […] Comment

Cedar Lake Proves Money Talks –– And That’s a Good Thing

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, the billionaire-funded company, continues to prove its genuine artistic mettle with a two-week season at the Joyce Theater. Comment

April Opera: Manhattan Report 

The Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater continues to add spice and repertory interest to New York’s operatic mix. On April 1, in the black-box Taub Ades Performance Space, undergraduates, many in their first onstage production, made a strong, pleasing effort in Schubert’s posthumously premiered “Die Verschworenen” (“The Forsworn”). Comments (2)

I Travel for Opera

For an opera fan, it’s salutary to get away from “old accustomed places” and experience the art form in unfamiliar theaters. Comments (1)

A Trio of Traviatas

This season we have four different companies presenting Verdi’s “La Traviata” in New York City and its environs. The revamped New York City Opera presented their take back in February at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. This month, the Met stars Gallic diva Natalie Dessay i Comment

Uncertain Glories

In March, City Opera improved its buzz — at a low ebb after its BAM productions — when the company mounted “Cosi fan tutte” at John Jay College’s relatively intimate Lynch Theater. Comment

Two Tenors

French opera often plays a distant third wheel to the Italian and German repertory wings of major opera houses. These days, even Russian and Czech works — since they tend to be cast with and conducted by native speakers — often get more idiomatic performances than their Gallic competition. Comments (1)

Myths and Misses


Verdi and Handel

On November 17, many vocal fanatics — a/k/a opera queens — found their way to the Met’s final seasonal performance of “Nabucco,” Verdi’s blazing Babylonian epic. Two cast members had joined an uneven team made up of highly adequate Zeljko Lucic, sadly inadequate Carlo Colombara, and handsome, ringing-toned but dangerously forcing Younghoon Lee. Comment

Verdi and Handel

BY DAVID SHENGOLD / On November 17, many vocal fanatics — a/k/a opera queens — found their way to the Met’s final seasonal performance of “Nabucco,” Verdi’s blazing Babylonian epic. Two cast members had joined an uneven team made up of highly adequate Zeljko Lucic, sadly inadequate Carlo Colombara, and handsome, ringing-toned but dangerously forcing Younghoon Lee. Comment

Winds of Change

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE / It is no accident or mere caprice that prompted Michael Mayer to place his engaging new revival and revision of “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever” in 1974. One year earlier, the American Psychiatric Association had removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses, causing a storm of controversy that would last until its permanent removal in 1986. Comment

All Jonas, All the Time

BY ELI JACOBSON / For a 30-year period that ended in 2007, the Metropolitan Opera was the house of the two tenors — Domingo and Pavarotti. The septuagenarian Domingo retains his place but has relinquished his old repertory. However, the next Pavarotti was needed long before the great Italian tenor left this earth. Comment


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