So you thought you could escape from opera by simply staying out of the opera house? Not any more. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns takes a tour of opera performed in barrooms, the Philly Fringe Festival, and at concerts by The Philadelphia Singers.
Masks are worn and removed on Now Is the Time, Saturday, September 13th at 9 pm at wrti.org and WRTI-HD2. The flutist and composer Katherine Hoover has greatly expanded the literature for her instrument with genial yet focused music. Masks, for flute and piano, includes the movements Haida Indian mask, Huichol Jaguar mask, Afro-American Death mask, and Clown mask. It succeeds in being charming and self-effacing at the same time.
The mask worn by murderer Joseph De Rocher slowly slips as Sister Helen Prejean visits, counsels, and shows love to him in Dead Man Walking, Jake Heggie's opera from just a few years ago. We have time for excerpts from both acts, including the riveting ending, with his confession and the echo of a gospel song. Joyce DiDonato, Philip Cutlip, and Frederica von Stade head the cast.
"Achingly beautiful" is how the Associated Press describes San Francisco Opera's production of Moby-Dick. Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer adapt Herman Melville's meditation on man and the sea into "...a vibrant, compelling piece of musical theater..." (San Francisco Chronicle).