From a monologue on death to a story about a police shootout, Opera Philadelphia’s productions showed us the many things opera can be.
John Sherer is a writer based in Brooklyn. His poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in The Point, Hot Metal Bridge, Botticelli Magazine, and Gulf Coast.
Mining Robert Mapplethorpe’s Legacy, With Missteps
Though its music, and use of Mapplethorpe’s photographs and texts by Essex Hemphill and Patti Smith were impressive in their own rights, the performance Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) ultimately appeared cheap, forced, and self-congratulatory.
An Unforgettable Wagner Production Caps Off the Met Opera Season
Robert Lepage’s production design is unforgettable, and the giant machine that serves as its centerpiece is distinctive enough to seem like its own character.
Everyone Falls for Everyone in This Operatic Romp Based on Shakespeare
Rather than sticking to a literalistic depiction of the woods of Fairyland, Robert Carsen sets his adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a more symbolic land of beds.
A Missed Chance for Female Empowerment in the Metropolitan Opera’s Marnie
At first, the opera seemed relevant to today’s re-evaluation of gender norms. But the narrative does not bear out this interpretation.
A Surrealist Satire by Luis Buñuel Becomes a Grim Opera
The Metropolitan Opera’s lone contemporary production this season is an adaptation of Buñuel’s 1962 film about the Spanish aristocracy, The Exterminating Angel.
A Faustian Satire of Our Shitty President
The new play Faust 3: The Turd Coming, or The Fart of the Deal is a gloves-off attack on Donald Trump — though it never mentions him by name.
An Epic Sanskrit Poem, Distilled and Defanged for the Stage
When the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey Theater (then the BAM Majestic Theater) opened in 1987, lauded director Peter Brook staged his production of Jean-Claude Carrière’s Le Mahabharata, itself based on the gargantuan Indian epic.