December 19, 1999 |
The fine art of songwriting, in the art song tradition, has been a practice paid ambivalent attention in our century. San Francisco-based pianist and composer Heggie has taken it upon himself to delve into the venerable songwriting tradition, often referring, stylistically, to romantic 19th century models and hints of smarter Broadway musical thinking, and now has well more than 100 pieces to show for the effort.
September 10, 1998 |
"Carmen" is one of the best known, if not the best known, of all operas. It is so well known that it is even possible to be familiar with the story and not the opera; the gypsy seductress has been the subject of movies from the silent era to the present, movies in which she has been everything from vamp to lesbian. Bizet's tunes, too, are so famous that it is also easy to know the music and not the opera; even Bart and Homer Simpson have done their parody of the "Toreador Song."
September 6, 1998 |
Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore appears, allegro ma grazioso, at the door of a Dorothy Chandler Pavilion rehearsal room. She pauses at the threshold to apologize for some imagined tardiness ("Hope I haven't kept y'all waiting!") and alights delicately in a chair--offering proof that the diva's entrance isn't a lost art after all.
January 21, 1998 |
With American mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore and tenor Placido Domingo in the leading roles, Bizet's "Carmen" will open L.A. Opera's 1998-99 season Sept. 8 in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center. Also in the eight-opera, 56-performance season, ending June 13, 1999, are two works new to the company's repertory, Massenet's "Werther" and a world premiere, American composer Tobias Picker's "Fantastic Mr. Fox."
July 22, 1997 |
Carmen. Forget the music for a minute, and just think about who the character is and what she represents. She is one of the great figures in drama, a great icon of the modern world and a great woman around whom we love to spin fantasies and theories. Men love, and always have loved, Carmen, because she is so seductive and so true to herself. And women, right up to today's new generation of feminist musicologists, love her for exactly the same reason.
November 12, 1996 |
A recital is not a cabaret--it need not be motley and it must not be frenzied. Jennifer Larmore--media darling in the latest crop of low-voiced American divas--erred on the side of more-is-too-much at her West Coast debut recital Sunday afternoon at Veterans Wadsworth Theater in Westwood. What she sang best--florid, quick-note showpieces by Mozart and Handel--confirmed Larmore's place as royalty in the realm of roulades.