By Jane Rosenberg In LA Opera’s riveting Madame Butterfly, which penetratingly explored the effects of imperialism in early twentieth century Japan, we have a Butterfly that transcended the domestic and became epic in scope. Ana Maria Martinez as Cio-Cio-San from Madame Butterfly. Photo by Ken Howard for LA Opera Everything in this new production, created… Read More LA Opera’s Madame Butterfly at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
By Jane Rosenberg Love and greed are the passions at work in the LA Opera’s double bill of Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci on stage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion through October 3. In Puccini’s comedy Gianni Schicchi, we have the grasping relatives of Buoso Donati scheming to change his will, as his corpse lies prostrate… Read More Live Opera: LA Opera’s “Gianni Schicchi” and “Pagliacci”
By Jane Rosenberg Los Angeles is in the midst of a citywide celebration of all things Figaro. Courtesy of the LA Opera we have The Ghosts of Versailles, soon to be followed by The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. Even LA Theaterworks jumped into the mix with a semi-staged production of The… Read More Opera: UCLA Opera’s “The Two Figaros” at Freud Playhouse
By Jane Rosenberg Lush orchestration, fervent arias, soaring high notes: these are the hallmarks of Daniel Catán’s opera, Florencia en el Amazonas. Earnest in its desire to please and enlighten, what the score and libretto lack in conveying the wildness of the Amazon is compensated for by L A Opera‘s singers and musicians embracing the… Read More LA Opera: “Florencia en el Amazonas” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
By Michael Katz Gerald Wilson took a near-capacity crowd at Catalina’s on a Tour De Jazz Thursday night. The 93 year old composer/arranger/leader, possessed of undiminished enthusiasm, spun musical and verbal tales that began with his days in the Jimmie Lunceford Band and included Basie and Ellington, with deft nods to Stravinsky, Puccini and Miles… Read More Live Jazz: The Gerald Wilson Big Band at Catalina Bar & Grill
Jeff Beck Emotion and Commotion (Rhino) By Mike Finkelstein For many years the arrival of a new Jeff Beck release has been eagerly anticipated by musicians and enthusiasts worldwide. His body of work is a diverse and continuing work in progress and his influence is as widespread as that of any living rock musician. It’s… Read More CD Review: Jeff Beck’s “Emotion and Commotion”
By Don Heckman An evening of opera at a jazz club? An unusual combination, it would seem. Yet, there it was Monday night: “Gala Opera Night” at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc., featuring soprano Demetra George, baritone Ralph Cato and pianist/music director Frank Fetta. And why not? As the restaurant’s General Manager, Hoss Zargaran pointed out, Vibrato… Read More Live: Opera Night at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.