A native Kansan I have a BA (Math and Theatre) and MA (Theatre). I was working on a PhD in Theatre when IBM sniffed my math background and lured me away with money enough to feed my (then two) children. Nevertheless I've been active in theatre all my life--having directed fifty-three productions (everything from opera in Poughkeepsie to Mrozek in Woodstock to musical melodrama in Germany) and I've acted in seventy others. Now that I'm retired I don't have that eight-to-five distraction and can focus a bit more. I've regularly reviewed theatre in St. Louis for KDHX since 1991 and am tickled now to also join BWW.
Now, modern scholars tend to exonerate Lucrezia from being the diabolical poisoner that her enemies have portrayed for 400 years. But let's face it, that diabolical Lucrezia makes much better opera. Donizetti knew that, as shown in his 1833 opera about her. Victor Hugo displayed the same sensibility in his hyper-melodramatic tragedy which appeared in the same year. In this new opera, Borgia Infami, Lucrezia is tainted with those same old sins - a little incest and the poisoning of a whole dinner party - including (inadvertantly) her own beloved bastard son.BWW Review: HANSEL UND GRETEL at Union Avenue Opera August 23, 2017
The Union Avenue Opera has opened a delightful production of H nsel und Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck. You'll never hear this work performed by a more glorious collection of voices.BWW Review: CAROUSEL at Union Avenue Opera August 10, 2017
The Union Avenue Opera is so good at fulfilling our expectations - our expectations of really fine traditional opera. But once in a while they enjoy surprising us, jerking us out of that normal path. For instance, with 'Trouble in Tahiti' several years ago the orchestra was a jazz trio. Now this splendid little company surprises us again with a lovely production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1945 Broadway classic, Carousel. It's the familiar story of a young mill-worker who makes the tragic mistake of falling in love with a rough but beautiful carnival barker.BWW Review: Will Albert Herring ever shed his innocence? July 11, 2017
The Opera Theater of St. Louis has opened the fourth and last production of it's forty-second festival season. It's Mozart's final opera, La clemenza di Tito, or (as it's billed for this English-language performance) simply Titus. Everything about this production - from its glorious voices and orchestral display to the set, costumes, lights and sound - is as near perfect as could be imagined.BWW Review: Two Icons Meet in OTSL's THE TRIAL June 15, 2017
The American premiere of The Trial has opened at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. This is a very major event in opera. Franz Kafka's nightmare tale of Joseph K, trapped in an enigmatic trial for his life, has fascinated readers since it appeared in 1925. Composer Philip Glass read the novel as a youth and even then he yearned to write an opera based on it. But Glass kept that idea 'in his pocket' for sixty years. It was not until he received a commission from the Music Theatre Wales, the Royal Opera, Theatre Magdeburg and the Scottish Opera that Glass was able to fulfill that dream. The London premiere of The Trial opened in 2014.OTSL reads Steinbeck's righteous sentence with a commanding voice. May 31, 2017