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Handel from BLO and the Cecilia, musicals at the conservatories, and Teatro Lirico's farewell

Play on
Boston Lyric Opera is presenting (at the Shubert Theatre through March 22) Handel's first hit opera, Agrippina, a black comedy about ruthless power, lust, and the shreds of nobility. Anyone who still thinks Handel is unrelievedly solemn should rush to the Shubert for a big surprise.
By: LOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 16, 2011


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

James Levine resigns from the BSO

Following Levine's departure, the BSO picks up the pieces

After Jimmy
This past week, James Levine ended his BSO tenure after seven seasons, citing challenges regarding his health and the "ensuing absences they have forced." Since leaving Symphony Hall almost five years ago, I've been watching the Levine saga unfold, gritting my teeth with every notice of malady and ensuing cancellation.
By: SEAN KERRIGAN  |  March 09, 2011


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


Il Giardino Armonico

Venice Rising
In their dark suits, they could have been Milanese bankers, except for the brightly colored ties (each different), puddling trousers, and full spectrum of hairstyles.
By: JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 25, 2011


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


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


Review: Lorin Maazel with the BSO

Plus, music and images at BCMS, Jeremy Denk, and BSCP's Stravinsky
Lorin Maazel made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in 1960, but this busy conductor has returned rarely, once in 1973 and again in 2009 as a substitute for the ailing James Levine in Beethoven's last four symphonies.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 26, 2011


Oboe? Oh boy!

Symphonie des Dragons, live at First Congregationalist Church Cambridge, January 14, 2011
File this one under "Stuff White People Like": an unheralded early-music ensemble made up of oboes and recorders and bassoons (with theorbo/guitar and percussion) comes to town for its world debut and sells out the house.
By: JEFFREY GANTZ  |  January 21, 2011


Oedipus schmoedipus

Operas at the BSO, plus the Cantata Singers, the BYSO's Macbeth, and Christine Brewer
One of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's most famous concerts was one that didn't take place. Nearly 30 years ago, the BSO announced Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex , to be staged by Peter Sellars, with Vanessa Redgrave narrating.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 21, 2011


Sing, sing, sing!: The 2011 winter opera forecast

Opera is this winter's warmer
For opera lovers, the offerings last fall were at best a little thin. But this winter, it seems, everyone's doin' it.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 30, 2010


The Top 10 Classical Music Stories of 2010

The good, the not-so-good, and the departed
The good, the not-so-good, and the departed
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 21, 2010


Review: Jonathan McPhee & the Longwood Symphony Orchestra at Jordan Hall

Where's the audience?
Jonathan McPhee is a hard man to keep up with.
By: JEFFREY GANTZ  |  December 10, 2010


Review: BEMF's Dido and Aeneas

Plus the BSO's Schumann and Harbison, Haochen Zhang, and a Concert for the Cure
Henry Purcell was lucky.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 07, 2010


Birthday boys: Pierre Boulez at Boston Conservatory

Plus the Mimesis Ensemble, the BU Symphony Orchestra, Collage, Garrick Ohlsson, the BSO, BMOP, and the BPO
I think the concert I'll remember most vividly from the past few weeks was the closing night of Boston Conservatory's weekend-long tribute to modern-music icon Pierre Boulez on his 85th birthday.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 01, 2010


Review: Cappella Clausura in Ordo Virtutum

Cappella Clausura tames the Devil at the First Lutheran Church on November 12, 2010
Sex and the single (it’s the only one we have) 12th-century opera? That’s what an early-music outfit was promising at the First Lutheran Church of Boston this past Sunday.
By: JEFFREY GANTZ  |  November 18, 2010


Giving thanks: The Cantata Singers' Wyner and Vaughan Williams

Plus Boston Lyric Opera's Tosca
One of the pleasures aroused by the anticipation of a new work by Yehudi Wyner is the certainty that the outcome will arouse even greater pleasure.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  November 09, 2010


Review: Beethoven with the Discovery Ensemble, the BSO, and Opera Boston

Heroes and villains
We've had a good deal of Beethoven recently, with the high bar being set by young Courtney Lewis — a former Zander Fellow and the current assistant conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra — and his extraordinary young chamber orchestra, Discovery Ensemble .
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 27, 2010


Review: James Levine with the Met and the BSO

Plus Mark Morris and Boston Baroque
Sighs of relief at Symphony Hall, from patrons and management alike: James Levine, music director of both the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera, had completed a doubleheader.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 20, 2010


James Levine: He's back!

The conductor returns to the Boston Symphony Orchestra (and the Met)
Boston and New York have at least one thing in common. Both have missed James Levine, music director of two of the world's most renowned classical-music institutions.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 06, 2010


Review: Longwood Symphony Orchestra's opening night

Jordan Hall, October 2, 2010
Jordan Hall, October 2, 2010
By: JEFFREY GANTZ  |  October 07, 2010

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