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Endora’s Year-End Encomiums

Every year, we give out the Agnes Moorehead Awards for outstanding live and film performance, realizing full well that despite her mammoth body of excellent work, she is probably best known as Endora on TV “ Comment

Master Singers — And, um, Others...

At 32, the Met’s “Boheme” staging is older than the opera’s six leading characters are meant to be. It soldiers on, the crassly over-busy Act II bringing cheers, while the lovely snowy Act III restores some Comments (3)

An Impressive Symphonic Band of Our Own

It’s hard to believe, but the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps turns 35 this year and the LGBAC Symphonic Band performs its holiday concert, “Make the Yuletide Gay!”, on December 12 at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th St., 8 p.m.; Comments (3)

Late Autumn Voices

Juilliard Opera did very well by the good — not great — Rossini comedy “Il Turco in Italia” on November 19. Spe Comment

A Teddy Bear of a Ruby

Two shows this December will mark the 25th — and final —year in which drag artist Ruby Rims presents his benefit holiday cabaret variety show “TeddyCare” at Judson Memorial Church in the Village. Ruby acts as master of ceremonies for the two-evening showcase that will feature a dozen or so performers, including actress and singer Karen Mason and the Gay Agenda, a “t Comments (1)

Bad Girl Gone Wild in a Gulag

Some operas take a while to click with audiences — it may take a revival with the right cast and a crowd receptive to its message. The Metropolitan Opera’s current revival of Dmitri Shostakovich’s scandalous 1934 opera ̶ Comment

Movie Love in Cabo

Cold as the proverbial witch’s titty here, it’s hard to believe I was recently sweating under the Mexican sun at the third annual Los Cabos International Film Festival (November 12-16). The place, so recently ravaged by Hurricane Odile, is still in a state of recovery. Piled onto that, the night I arrived, opening night festivitie Comments (3)

Musical Theater Drill Down  

So, do you watch these Broadway-themed hit reality shows? Comment

The Lyp Returns, Imelda’s Enduring Fascination

It’s incredible, but Lypsinka, that whirling dervish of illusion and the highest imaginable camp — whom I consider as essential a New York figure as the Statue of Liberty — hasn’t been on a local stage in nine years. Comment

Bi-Coastal Opera

Neal Goren’s always interesting Gotham Opera started its season October 14 at the Lynch Theater with a Bohuslav Martinu double bill that looked great — Gotham shows almost always do — but left one wanting musically. The urbane Czech composer penned works, including & Comment

Klinghoffer” Rises Above the Protests

Approaching Lincoln Center Plaza for the October 20 Metropolitan Opera premiere of John Adams’ “The Death of Klinghoffer,” Comment

Claire De Couture

The history of fashion is awash with the names of male gay designers, but there have been surprisingly few women couturiers who have identified as queer. There were once bisexual whispers about Coco Chanel and, recently, Jill Sander has been quite open about her lesbianism. Comment

Spirited Revivals, Reviving Spirits

After a grueling, spiritually exhausting summer of labor negotiations, the Metropolitan Opera has gotten back to work presenting revivals of repertory standards. In many ways, these are better indi Comment

Theseus Rides The Bull 

There have been many versions of the myth of Theseus, founder-king of Athens and, like Jesus, the s Comment

New Starts

September brought good news to New York’s opera world. The American Opera Projects premiered a fine new work of unusual interest to the LGBT community, Laur Comment

Glimmerglass Scores Solidly 

Artistic and general director Francesca Zambello and managing director Linda Jackson crafted a Glimmerglass season of operas unified by both thematic plot links — women abandoned by men — an Comment

Opera on Summer Lawns

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer venue, leafy Tanglewood in rural — if in places pricey ̵ Comment

The Voyage to Oneness 

American Opera Projects, a leading force in the gestation and d Comments (1)

Marginally Mozart, Masterfully Mark Morris

Handel’s pastoral masterpiece “Acis and Galatea” started out in 1718 as an English masque based on a theme from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” and evolved i Comment

Nellie’s Billy

One of the great enigmas in the music world, William Lee “Billy” Tipton (1914 – 1989) was an American jazz musician and bandleader, who, it was discovered after his death, was born a woman. Named Dorothy Louise Tipton at birth in Oklahoma, he took his father’s name, “Billy,” when he started his music career and bound his bre Comments (2)

Operatic Game-Changers

Throughout the 19th century, opera composers strived to break away from the “number opera” format — a series of separate musical pieces in conventional forms interspersed with recitative or dialogue that move Comment

Big Gifts in Big Packages 

Larger framed singers with equally grand voices win vocal competitions but often find the doors of the world’s opera houses cl Comments (2)

Pride Week Opera 

San Francisco Opera presented three works during its summer season, smartly timed to overlap with Pride Day and Frameline’s Film Festival. Volunteering duties Comment

A Complete Cole Porter Find 

No one brings the intensity to confabs that lovers of musical theater manage when they get together. And my recent meet-up with essential b Comment

Opera in Odd Spaces  

With the mid-May end of the Metropolitan Opera’s season, opera is on the move throughout the city, springing up in museums, churches, concert halls, and parks. On Comment

Unspoken Challenges

Set in 1985 San Francisco, the low-budget “Test” is a compelling drama about the onset of the AIDS crisis. Frankie (Scott Marlowe) is a dancer whose unease about the epidemic is palpable. His concerns are contrasted with those of his fellow dancer, Todd ( Comment

A Trial in Words and Music 

Before landing the lead role in “The Trial of Oscar Wilde,” Michael Halling didn’t know much about Wilde’s story or about his prose Comment

From the Continental to the Carlyle

Singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester is making her Café Carlyle debut (through June 21), and I grabbed the chance to chat with one of the artists from the 1970s who shone particularly brightly. I am forever grateful for her ravishing song “Mid Comment

Smart Operatic Heroines, Foolish Choices

Operatic heroines are always throwing themselves after unattainable men with tragic — or at least ridiculous — results. Donizetti’s elderly Elizabeth I and Rameau’ Comment

Enduring Cowboy, Divas Below 54

For those who lived through the 1970s, we are now experiencing a moment in time of an unprecedented nostalgia — like the ‘70s had for the 1930s — for an economically depressed but far more fun era, which mixed innocence and decadence with such thrilling insouciance, all of it pre-AIDS and pre-Reagan/ Giuliani. And, from that glittering disco ball epoch, there is no mor Comments (3)

Season’s End

Sondra Radvanovsky’s role debut as Elizabeth in Canadian Opera Company’s “Roberto Devereux” — coming to the Met stage two seasons from now — certainly excited Toronto audiences. Her Comment

Spring’s New Ring

A highlight of most vocal music seasons is Manhattan School of Music’s annual Senior Opera Theater production. Director Dona Vaughn and conductor Jorge Parodi work miracles with the talented but lar Comment

As Grounded as It Gets; Five’s the Charm for O’Hara?

What with the late breaking openings of “Raisin in the Sun,” “Cripple of Inishmaan,” “Of Mice and Men,” the delightful “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” and the small and affecting, even if somewhat annoying “Violet,” this has turned out to be the best Bro Comment

Starless Turns, Turning Stars

Certain operas — Puccini’s “La Bohème” for example — can withstand non-star casting because the opera itself is the star. Less durable repertory items serve as vehicles for established stars with unique vocal qualities. Three star-dependent operas were revived this Comment

California Dreaming

As snow hung tough into March, I visited San Diego and Los Angeles, both cities with notable LGBT scenes as well as first-class theaters. San Diego’s beautiful park-girt Old Globe Theater was playing ̶ Comment

Oh, Diana!

Singing Psychotics from Vienna  

As part of Carnegie Hall’s three-week “Vienna: City of Dreams” festival, the Vienna State Opera performed in concert two 20th century operas dealing with abnormal psychology. Richard Strauss’ “Salome” (1905) and Alban Comment

Laura and Mimi

After some very high profile television work, Laura Benanti is returning to the musical stage as waitress Rosabella in the Encores! revival of “The Most Happy Fella” (New York City Center, 131 W. 55th St., through Apr. 6; Comments (8)

Late Winter Voices

February 21 witnessed a bittersweet occasion at City Center –– fabulous to see, but wi Comment

Iron-Willed Ingénues Keep Going Strong

Oscar-winning movie musical queen Shirley Jones just made her Café Carlyle debut with a well-received show and I grabbed the opportunity to chat with her. For those who know her as such, you will be pleased to know that “Mrs. Partridge” is every bit as warm and down-to-earth as the Dream Mom you’d imagine her to be, ensconced in her hotel su Comment

A Touch of the Poet 

Massenet’s “Werther,” an intimate music drama focused on interior emotion rather than overt action, has never been a natural fit for the grandiose Metropolitan Opera House. Audiences haven’t flocked to it despite the p Comment

Beth Levels

We truly are living in a marvelously varied Golden Age of Broadway Divas and, even if starring musical roles are scarce, these gals are still going forward, knocking us dead by strutting their awesome stuff in thrilling cabaret acts. The latest to do so is the dynamic Beth Leavel, who killed the people in her just-wrapped solo debut appearances at 54 Below. Her overall flair and coiled-spring intensity, born r Comment

Broadway Baby

You don’t have to be a musical theater geek to be charmed by “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me,” the hilarious and heart-wrenching documentary by Chiemi Karasawa. Comments (1)

Hunger And Rage, Heat And Glare

BY BRIAN MCCORMICK| Post-production blues, the period of r Comments (1)

Martyrs and Tartars 

The first time I went to hear Handel’s oratorio “Theodora,” I assumed I would be seeing lurid tales of the Byza Comments (1)

In the Belly Of the Beast

BAM celebrated Benjamin Comments (1)

Three Tenors

Going to Hell and Back in the New Year

January is the Janus month where we look forward to the new year and Comments (2)

The Perfect Holiday Carol 

A Christmas angel blessed my holiday season in the form of Carol Lawrence, who — first of all — gave a delightfully strong, touching perfo Comments (1)

New Year’s Eve 1899, 2013, and Moments In Between

Under the Gelb administration, the Metropolitan Opera has employed its New Year’s Eve Gala as a vehicle to unveil new productions. To ring in 2014, the Met relied on a tradit Comment


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