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Opera Boston's Béatrice et Bénédict, plus Masur at the BSO, Boston Baroque's Creation, and Andréas Scholl

Merry war
Opera Boston began its season of relative rarities (two of them based on Shakespeare) with Berlioz's enchanting last opera, Béatrice et Bénédict, centered around the two most compelling characters in Much Ado About Nothing — witty antagonists who, in their "merry war," renounce love, until they are forced to admit they love each other.    
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 27, 2011

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Yo-Yo Ma at the BSO, Gidon Kremer at Longy, Ilya Kaler with the Boston Philharmonic

Stringing along
For a moment, it seemed as if the Boston Symphony Orchestra was back in its full ripeness.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 19, 2011

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Anne-Sophie Mutter, Susan Davenny Wyner, and Courtney Lewis

Popularity contest
The season-opening concerts I've been going to have made me think about two kinds of musicians: those whose performances become transparent, who allow the listener into the heart of the music; and those for whom their own abilities — technical marvels — seem an end, not a means to a higher end.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 06, 2011

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Huntington's Candide hits more than just the high notes

Candidissimo!
How could a musical with a dazzling score and a perfect cast have been such a dismal flop on Broadway?
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 05, 2011

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Guerilla Opera's Loose, Wet, Perforated

Huh?
Australian born, Harvard-educated Nicholas Vines is a compellingly original composer, and his new Loose, Wet, Perforated (through September 25) is full of fascinating music.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  September 20, 2011

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The 10 can’t-miss classical concerts of 2011

From Boston Baroque to the Discovery Ensemble: More classical concerts than you’ll know what to do with
Here are 10 classical events I'm particularly eager to hear--just the tips of our many musical icebergs.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 03, 2011



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Boston Midsummer Opera's The Italian Girl in Algiers

Dream Girl ?
This year Drew Minter and BMO gave us the young Rossini's The Italian Girl in Algiers , composed when he was 21 (it was his 11th opera!). It's an energetic comedy about a wily young woman who outwits the warlord who wants to add her to his harem.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  August 02, 2011

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BOC's delightful Falstaff and Michael Endres playing Schubert at Newport

The essence of youth
Boston Opera Collaborative is, in its own words, "a non-profit membership organization dedicated to providing opportunities for emerging artists." Its members share in both the artistic and administrative work. Now in its sixth year, it has created a stir.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  July 25, 2011

tanglewood list

The BSO opens its summer home without Levine, but with Mark Morris & Yo-Yo Ma

Tanglewood report
It was especially sad that Levine, who cancelled his entire Tanglewood season and then resigned as BSO music director as of September (he just underwent another major surgery on his spine), couldn't lead this particular program.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  August 10, 2011

rockport list

Three pianists, and some impressive chamber music

Prestidigitation
Three remarkable pianists who couldn't be more different from one another have made some major appearances in the past few weeks.    
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  June 29, 2011

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Steffani's Niobe opens the Boston Early Music Festival; plus, Richard Conrad's farewell

Coming of age
This is the Baroque opera production I've been waiting for.  
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  June 16, 2011



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Boston Baroque's Rameau, Opera Boston's Donizetti, BSO's Berlioz, the Met's new Walküre

Something old, something new
As the season wound down, one of the most applauded concerts was Boston Baroque's semi-staged version of Jean-Philippe Rameau's early 18th-century extravaganza, the "opéra-ballet" Les Indes galantes (roughly, "The Romantic Indies").
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  May 25, 2011

britten list

BLO does Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream

 plus Dawn Upshaw, Natalia Gutman with the BPO, and Simon Trpceski at the BSO
After last season's The Turn of the Screw, Boston Lyric Opera has returned to Benjamin Britten with A Midsummer Night's Dream, an adaptation of Shakespeare (at the Shubert Theatre through May 10).  
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  May 11, 2011

RAKE list

St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Dubravka Tomsic, and Emmanuel's Rake, plus BSO visiting conductors

No substitutions
Three recent musical high points in Boston actually went on as originally announced: no changes, no cancellations, and nothing to do with James Levine, who had his own triumphs out of town, leading Berg's Wozzeck at the Met and a concert with the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.  
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  April 26, 2011

Tempest list

Adès, Tetzlaff, and Kissin at the BSO; Matthew Polenzani's Schubert

Tempestuous
After too many weeks of watching the Boston Symphony Orchestra scramble to replace maestro James Levine, both in Boston and on tour, we finally got a concert that went as planned.  
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  April 06, 2011

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Tod Machover's Death and the Powers, plus Norrington's C.P.E. Bach and the Cantata Singers' B-minor Mass

Robotics
In her director's note for the American premiere of Death and the Powers: The Robots' Opera , Diane Paulus, artistic director of the American Repertory Theater, wrote that this "work of music-theater . . . has brought together artists from the widest range of disciplines — from theater and film to modern dance and the cutting-edge technology of the MIT Media Lab."
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 25, 2011



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Bard, Bach, Borromeo: Boston's Spring classical music preview

Three B's and more this spring
The classical-music season continues at full throttle this spring. The Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Celebrity Series of Boston, and our local companies and schools have some of their most exciting offerings in store. Here are some of the events between March 24 and May 31 I'd be happiest to attend.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 15, 2011

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Levine resigns

 Poor health forces the BSO’s first American director to give up his position
I’m heartbroken. I’ve just heard that James Levine, after another serious setback to his health, has resigned as the BSO’s music director, a year before his contract was scheduled to expire.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 04, 2011

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Heavy metal: Opera Boston’s Cardillac

Plus another Levine cancellation, H&H’s Handel, the Takács Quartet, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky
One of the major musical events of the season, Opera Boston’s New England premiere of Paul Hindemith’s Cardillac, was upstaged by the depressing announcement by BSO managing director Mark Volpe, just before the first of the BSO’s four performances of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, that James Levine was not going to conduct.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 03, 2011

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Opera from BLO, the Met, and Teatro Lirico, plus top-level conducting at the BSO

Good works
Opera in Boston is now back in full swing. Boston Lyric Opera, with a company of singers and designers largely new to Boston led by Boston Classical Orchestra music director Steven Lipsitt, gave a memorable production of the opera that composer Viktor Ullmann and poet Petr Kien created in 1943 at the Terezín concentration camp, The Emperor of Atlantis , or Death Quits .  
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 15, 2011

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Review: Viktor Ullmann's The Emperor of Atlantis

Boston Lyric Opera pulls out the stops
The Boston Lyric Opera, with Boston Classical Orchestra music director Steven Lipsitt and a company of singers and designers largely new to Boston, has given us a memorable production of the opera that composer Viktor Ullmann and poet Petr Kien created in 1943 at the Terezín concentration camp, The Emperor of Atlantis, or Death Quits .
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 03, 2011


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