David Rubin

Aug. 2 Glimmerglass: The Magic Flute

Sean Panikkar plays Prince Tamino in The 2015 Glimmerglass Festival production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," sung in English (photo: Karli Cadel)

Glimmerglass’s ‘The Magic Flute’ a muddled journey with no clear sense of direction

Madeline Sayet, directing her first-ever opera production, misses a golden opportunity to take the celebrated singspiel in a daring new direction

By David Rubin

Mozart’s The Magic Flute is a major challenge for even experienced directors. While the music is sublime, the story is a puzzle that few have solved satisfactorily…

July 19 Glimmerglass: Candide

Andrew Stenson as Candide and Andrew Maughan as Cacambo in The 2015 Glimmerglass Festival production of Leonard Bernstein's "Candide" (photo: Karli Cadel)

Glimmerglass’s ‘Candide’ makes political satire satisfying entertainment

Francesca Zambello demonstrates how a musical whose story is based entirely on politics and philosophy can ‘glitter and be gay’

By David Rubin

Leonard Bernstein’s Candide has never been, in any of its many versions, the best of all possible American musicals. The challenges it poses to a production team are simply too many…

Jan. 9 Met (Live): Les Contes d’Hoffmann

A paucity of memorable stage moments in the Met’s ‘Tales of Hoffmann’

David Rubin reviews the final dress rehearsal of the reprise of the 2009 Bartlett Sher production and finds that the director lacks a strong point of view

By David Rubin

The first question to ask about any performance of Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann is which version of the piece was performed. The opera was left unfinished at the composer’s death in 1880; there is no accepted critical edition…

Nov. 22 Met simulcast: Il Barbiere di Siviglia

The Met’s nicely coiffed ‘Il Barbiere di Siviglia’ a vocal delight, but the laughs don’t ‘cut it’

The comedic elements take a haircut in this revival of Rossini’s beloved opera buffa

By David Rubin

Bartlett Sher’s 2006 Metropolitan Opera production of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia has been acclaimed for its wit, effervescence and a distinctive feature of the set: a passerelle…

Oct. 18 Met (Live): Le Nozze di Figaro

The Met’s ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ a happy marriage of ensemble singing and acting

The cast of supporting roles was especially strong in the company’s new production of Mozart’s matchless masterpiece

By David Rubin

If I could bottle one production of one opera to pour for friends who have never seen an opera before but are curious about the art form, it would be this new production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York…

July 28 Glimmerglass: Ariadne in Naxos

Glimmerglass’s ‘Ariadne in Naxos’ a powerful showcase for a powerhouse soprano

Christine Goerke raises the roof in this unforgettable aural experience

By David Rubin

Paradise, at least for lovers of Richard Strauss and the female voice, came to the Glimmerglass Festival this week with its production of Ariadne in Naxos.

In the title role, soprano Christine Goerke (the festival’s Artist in Residence this season) delivered a majestic performance that combined a resonant, rolling sound with incredible range, flexibility and control…

July 20 Glimmerglass: An American Tragedy

Glimmerglass’s ‘An American Tragedy’ an American triumph

The opera’s three major roles, all played by Glimmerglass Young Artists, reveal the depth of talent within the company’s apprenticeship program

By David Rubin

The Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York continued its 2014 season of operas that highlight Men Behaving Badly (Very Badly)…

July 21 Glimmerglass: King for a Day

Glimmerglass’s rarely done ‘King for a Day’ a rare treat, well done

This zany production of Verdi’s only comic opera before ‘Falstaff’ keeps the singers in chaos and the audience in stitches

By David Rubin

The heroes of the Glimmerglass production of Verdi’s rare — really rare…