Stage Invasion – Ivan Fischer’s “explosive” Beethoven Fifth

Was it an orchestra take over? The audience could have been forgiven for gasping during a performance by the Budapest Festival Orchestra of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in Budapest this past weekend when two dozen or more young musicians, clutching everything from flutes to violins to double basses, rushed on stage from the wings, without warning,…Read more Stage Invasion – Ivan Fischer’s “explosive” Beethoven Fifth

En Route: ‘Faux Americana’ sweeps France

ROCAMADOUR, France - So these are the slogans emblazoned on the T-shirts, jackets and sweatshirts that people -- many of them French  -- are wearing in the heavily touristed Perigord region of France this summer: -- "America's Highway Route 66 the Mother Road" -- "University of California Berkeley Deluxe Classics" -- "Authentic 77 Stage Shape…Read more En Route: ‘Faux Americana’ sweeps France

En Route: The sweet life in Perigord

GROLEJAC, France - It looked for the longest time like Agnes Lacoste, a woman with a striking silvery mane, would have no customers for her "Barbe a Papa" (cotton candy) stall at a nighttime "marche gourmand" in the Perigord village of Grolejac. The paella, grilled duck breast and bottles of rose wine were going down…Read more En Route: The sweet life in Perigord

Ades’s searing “Exterminating Angel”, based on film, is opera as cinema

SALZBURG, Austria - British composer Thomas Ades blurs the lines between cinema and opera in his edgy new work "The Exterminating Angel" based on director Luis Bunuel's film of the same name about guests trapped by an invisible force at an upper-crust dinner party. The opera, which had its premiere at the Salzburg Festival on…Read more Ades’s searing “Exterminating Angel”, based on film, is opera as cinema

Opera Tonight: “Brexitdammerung” (The Twilight of Britain)

Cast: David Wotan, Brunnhilde May, Boris Fasolt, Michael Fafner and Adele The LIttle England Sinfonietta conducted by Alberich Farage David Wotan, the chief of the gods and the Tory party, was getting grief for spending too much time away from home, wandering the world as far afield as Brussels and taking his holiday in Lanzarote.…Read more Opera Tonight: “Brexitdammerung” (The Twilight of Britain)

Joyce’s “joke bombs” get a late laugh

DUBLIN - Bloomsday came early to Dublin this year with an exhibition by the Irish artist Elaine Byrne including videos unraveling two of the hidden joke bombs in James Joyce's "Ulysses" -- one of them deeply impenetrable because it is in Hungarian. Dublin gets into full Bloomsday mode this weekend, leading up to the June…Read more Joyce’s “joke bombs” get a late laugh