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The Yellow River Cantata

I recently enjoyed a performance of the Yellow River Cantata at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Hartford, CT.

Big thanks, then, to all who were involved in this production, including the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and its music director, Carolyn Kahn, as well as the Hartford Chorale and its director, Richard Coffey, and the Kang Hua Singers of Greater Hartford, and their director, Chai-lun Yueh.

You can read a good deal about the history of the work here, if you like. We … Continue Reading

Operatic History through a Shakespearean Lens

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616)

Today I’d like to list (quite arbitrarily and subjectively) the ten greatest operas out of the many inspired by the plays of William Shakespeare.

Why Shakespeare? Because he has proven irresistible to so many great composers and librettists. He offers them, after all, a compendium of readymade, popularly known plots, characters, and images. Thus, invoking Shakespeare will serve us as an organizing principle to look at the development of opera as an art form over … Continue Reading