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by Nicholas Jones

Today we went to the cineplex to watch the latest Met HD Live broadcast: there are five more this spring! Thank you, Peter Gelb! This one was Susan Graham and Placido Domingo in Gluck’s amazing opera, Iphigénie en Tauride, or Iphigenia in the land of the Scythians (my translation). Graham and Domingo both had colds — they called it a NYC epidemic — but they sounded pretty darn good.

For me, coincidentally, this opera, which Gluck adapted from a little-known Greek tragedy by Euripides, came on the heels of four wonderful lectures at Oberlin by Toronto classicist Victoria Wohl, about how strange Euripides’ plays are, and how that strangeness can clue us into their political and ideological messages.

This is a strange opera, to be sure. And I’d love to know what its messages about friendship, sibling love, revenge, and barbarianism might have meant in the court of Marie Antoinette.

Whatever it meant there, it was not sung in a hall like the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center. And that aspect of scale must have been part of what it meant.

In the Met, the singers’ voices have to be BIG. In the HD simulcasts, you get to meet the singers backstage. Here were Graham and Domingo, both obviously struggling with colds, talking to us and host Natalie Dessay, perky as always. Domingo almost sadly gestured to the microphone he was holding for the interview, and commented “we don’t get to use these onstage.” Read the rest of this entry »


by Nicholas Jones

Correspondent Nicholas Jones and staff Daniel Hathaway and Mike Telin have been leading an Oberlin Winter Term course in Digital Musical Journalism during the month of January. Here are Nick’s reflections on a recent performance at Lorain County Community College, tattled from his blog, “The World As Museum”.

We went to hear a cabaret show by a small touring group from the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players last night at the community college. They were performing a review called “I’ve got a Little Twist” (a witty take-off on “I’ve Got a Little List,” of course), which segued in and out of Broadway and G & S. Their take on it was that G & S were the real founders of Broadway musical theater, and they showed us nice parallels: maybe the best was the connection of the patter song (“I am the very model of a modern major-general” from Pirates of Penzance) with Broadway numbers like “Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little”, from Music Man. Here’s a video from the opening number of “Twist” that will give you a better sense of it.

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Daniel Hathaway
founder & editor
Mike Telin
executive editor
Jarrett Hoffman
assistant to the editors

James Flood
J.D. Goddard
Jarrett Hoffman
Nicholas Jones
Timothy Robson
Robert & Gwyneth Rollin
Alexandra Vago
Tom Wachunas