Nothing dates faster than relevance. The more a work of art addresses uniquely contemporary issues, the quicker it becomes stale and even, eventually, quaint.
Franz Schubert died at age 31 and Mozart never made it to 36. So their music will always have the freshness and enthusiasm of youth.
The St. Louis Symphony's regular subscription season ended a month ago with a bang-up performance of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 the weekend of May 9th. But they've got a final encore concert for you this Saturday.
I can sum up the Opera Theatre production of Donizetti's 1832 romantic comedy "The Elixir of Love" in one word: bravi. Or maybe that should be "bravissimi," since every aspect of this funny, endearing, and beautifully sung show deserves heaps of praise.
Disgusted with the way your Facebook friends are cheerfully spreading bogus news items without bothering to fact check them? Convinced that the Internet is turning us into a nation of credulous chumps who will buy anything? As Opera Theatre is demonstrating this weekend, P.T. Barnum's observation about a sucker being born every minute is nothing new.
There's never a dull moment in the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis production of "The Magic Flute." That's because director Isaac Mizrahi keeps his performers (including a cast of seven dancers) in constant motion. The resulting stage pictures are impressive, but they often threaten to eclipse the music and text.
The Memorial Day weekend is almost here. For most of us, that means cookouts, family gatherings, and other varieties of making merry. For us opera lovers, though, it also means a different type of celebration: opening night at Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
"Music of a Bygone Era"
Back before the advent of recorded sound, when a home music system was the piano in the parlor, the odds were good that said piano would be accompanied by one or more bound volumes of short pieces intended for amateur performance. They might contain anything from bagatelles by Beethoven or humoresques by Dvorak to occasional pieces by lesser composers to arrangements of popular songs.
The symphony closes out its regular season this week as David Robertson returns to the podium for a program that features a dramatic Tchaikovsky symphony, a hallucinatory song cycle by Britten, and a new piece by a French composer of "spectralist" music. Variety? We've got it.
The St. Louis Symphony has a long history with Carl Orff's 1936 “scenic cantata" "Carmina Burana," from its first performance back in 1961 with Edouard Van Remoortel on the podium to David Robertson's nicely balanced performance back in May of 2011. There's even a fine 1994 recording with Leonard Slatkin and an all-star lineup of soloists that is apparently still available both in disc form and as an MP3 download from amazon.com.