Tagged: Music

In Review: “Tosca” at Minnesota Opera

TOSCA

Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Adapted from the play La Tosca by Richard Condon
Conducted by Anne Manson
Directed by Andrea Cigni
Featuring Kelly Kaduce, Leonardo Capalbo, and Stephen Powell

Presented by Minnesota Opera

Kelly Kaduce in Minnesota Opera's production of Tosca.

Kelly Kaduce in Minnesota Opera’s production of Tosca.

Given its status in the international scene as one of the biggest developers of new opera, and specializing in presenting the world and American premieres of new works, it pays to remember that Minnesota Opera can deliver fantastic productions of the standard repertoire when it chooses to. And there are few operas that embody the standard repertoire more than Giacomo Puccini’s masterpiece Tosca, which is getting a thrilling production from our local opera company in spite of a few dissonant staging decisions, and a casting choice that could have doomed the production but actually redeems it.

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In Review: “Aging Magician” at the Walker

Aging Magician at Mass MoCA

In an exciting bit of news, I was asked by the Walker Arts Center to share my thoughts on Paola Prestini, Rinde Eckert, and Julian Crouch’s new opera / music-theatre work Aging Magician, which played at the Walker on March 5 & 6.

For my review / reaction to the piece, head over to the Walker’s performing arts blog.

Photo Credit: Jill Steinberg

In Review: Minnesota Orchestra’s 2015-16 Season Opener

MinnesotaOrchestra-StandardPic

The Minnesota Orchestra in performance at Orchestra Hall

A season opener for any classical group is always a tricky affair. You want it to be a fun event that will dazzle the subscribers and first-timers and keep them excited for the rest of the season. This weekend’s season-opening concerts of the Minnesota Orchestra were a lovely, if slightly disjointed celebration of the celebrated local orchestra.

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Songs In The Key Of “Mad”

MadMen0508-Don

When we talk about Mad Men, and we do a lot (especially here at l’étoile), there are many things we talk about; the acting, the plot twists, the scenery, the costumes, and more. But there is one thing that we really haven’t touched on that much, which is an important part of what makes the show so iconic in my mind.

The music.

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Todd Takes On… David Bowie

(I wish!)

In honor of his birthday / new single / new video / forthcoming album, I shall post this without comment.

Okay, a few comments.

  • He looks good (no surprise there).
  • He sounds great (no surprise there).
  • The song is a nice throwback musically to Aladin Sane and lyrically to Low.
  • The video is odd, but cool (and nice shots of Berlin thrown in for good measure.

Stone Arch Bridge Festival Announces the 2012 Lineup

Rather than take the moment of me ominously offering my opinions (and alliterating yet), I’m going to use my bully pulpit (ha!) to cheer on something I’m excited about.

The 2012 Stone Arch Bridge Festival (note the name change people!) has just released its lineup of musicians for the three stages. Of course the Cake in 15 crew has more details (which makes sense since the lovely & talented Stacy Schwartz did the booking) and I have to say that the lineup is pretty amazing! Stone Arch has always had the benefit of being a showcase of some of the best local artists on the cusp (and that’s due to Stacy’s very smart curatorial eye) and the fact that it’s free is always a plus.

Another tantalizing tease is that (well aside from the new late-night concerts!) is that No-Coast Craft-O-Rama will be having vendors at the festival this year. This is wonderful that the festival is adding this in to really up its game.

In fact, all of these new changes to the festival are wonderful news! After the tumultuousness of last year saying that the festival was going under, it’s nice to see them back and reorganized and reinvigorated.

And the fact that it’s the same weekend as you-know-what is kind of ingenious and ballsy!

Todd Takes On… Rock The Garden (Again!)

It is the topic that won’t die in the local music scene.

Today, on the Local Current blog for 89.3 The Current, programming director Jim McGuinn commented about the reaction to this year’s Rock The Garden lineup and to the ticketing policy for the show and the fact that it sold out in record time.

Some of Jim’s comments are pretty amazing, but of course I do have my reactions. (It wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t have reactions to things, now would it?)

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Todd Takes On… Rock The Garden

Today 89.3 The Current and the Walker Art Center unveiled the lineup for the 2012 Rock The Garden concert in the Sculpture Garden on June 16 in an event at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul in a live broadcast revealing the lineup: Howler, tUnE yArDs, Doomtree, Trampled By Turtles, and The Hold Steady.

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It’s Ba-ack!

This morning the news came from the New York Times (yes, I know, and yes, I have opinions about that whole story) that one of the most influential music programs of all time (well at least of my youth) is coming back.  120 Minutes will be returning to mtv this fall with an online companion series 120 Seconds on the mtvhive.com website.  Matt Pinfield will be returning as host.  Continue reading