According to statisticians Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto was the 9th most programed opera worldwide between 2008 and 2013, with 395 separate productions. Indeed, since its hugely successful premiere in Venice in 1851, it has remained a standard of the repertoire. With an opera as famous and with a performance history as long as Rigoletto’s, directors can be tempted to freshen […]

  From the moment Andris Nelsons took the reins of the monster orchestra last night at Symphony Hall, he let them loose, yet the balance and timbre of Strauss’s score, a sine non qua of any successful production of Salome, were attended to with accuracy and warmth. Often Nelsons would turn and beam a grin […]

In my work I focus on a simple binary division of nationalistic (and patriotic) expressions. On the one hand you have a the insular perspective in which very little interest is shown in diversity or people of different cultures and communities. This difference is avoided because it is thought to undermine the very shared perspective […]

The “Great Recession” has been long and hard on many people, and the end of growth that we as Americans have long taken for granted (re. the American Dream) is still a difficult situation to fathom, but we abide. It is good, I guess, to seek perspective in the past (so says the historian). Take, […]

Through the Fog to Dido

The Charles has long been known as a dirty river (although this isn’t really true anymore). One of the reasons for this is its slow current. On Thursday night the air was unseasonably warm and a misty radiation fog was rising up as I rode to Harvard along the Memorial Drive Bike Trail. While riding […]