Advertisement
HomeCollectionsLibretto
IN THE NEWS

Libretto

FIND MORE STORIES ABOUT:
FEATURED ARTICLES
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | November 19, 2000
In this well-used, second-story studio lined with music books, a new opera is taking shape A large wooden desk with a manuscript stand sits in the middle of the room; an electronic keyboard fits snugly underneath the desk. A thick libretto book, with many handwritten rewordings and crossed-out lines, sits to one side. On the other is a similarly marked-up hardback copy of the 1979 novel that has inspired the libretto and the music -- William Styron's "Sophie's Choice." The balding, bespectacled man with the studious expression who spends several hours most days in that room, painstakingly transforming Styron's best-selling fiction into opera, is Nicholas Maw. When the British-born composer is not at work in his dignified 19th-century clapboard home on a high, wooded lot of Washington's Takoma Park neighborhood, he can be found two days a week teaching at the Peabody Conservatory.
ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 18, 2013
The other day (OK, it was last week -- your humble correspondent has been way behind on everything lately), Washington National Opera presented the premieres of three 20-minute pieces that as part of itsĀ  second annual American Opera Initiative. I found the experience rewarding on many levels. Each of these mini-operas addressed an American theme (immigration provided a subject for two of the three). Each revealed a certain confidence, a sense of purpose, a determination to make a meaningful statement.
Advertisement
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,sun music critic | November 13, 2006
It was a calculated act of kindness that changed the opera world. A prescient impresario thrust a libretto with a biblical plot into the hands of a reluctant and depressed Giuseppe Verdi, who was then thinking about never composing again after the exceptionally modest success of his first opera and humiliating flop of his second. Something about that unsolicited libretto caught Verdi's imagination and led to his first certified hit, Nabucco - and the birth of his genius. Nabucco 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8:15 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Sunday, Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. Tickets $45-$127.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 2, 2013
On the night of Nov. 9, 1938, a well-orchestrated anti-Jewish pogrom erupted throughout Germany and Austria. Synagogues, businesses and homes were attacked, lives were lost. The vicious destruction continued into a second night. The amount of broken glass afterward led to an infamous name for the incident - Kristallnacht. Through the shards could be detected the seeds of the Holocaust. This Saturday, 75 years after Kristallnacht began, an opera about the legacy of the Nazi era will be performed in concert form at the Music Center at Strathmore . "Lost Childhood" has a libretto by Baltimore poet Mary Azrael and music by New Jersey native Janice Hamer.
BUSINESS
By Stephen Manes and Stephen Manes,New York Times News Service | July 7, 1997
IT IS THE LITTLEST standard Windows 95 computer officially released in America. It is so small that people may soon be reaching into their fanny packs and purses and demanding that you watch their dreaded Powerpoint presentations.It is the new Libretto 50CT from Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., and it weighs just 1.85 pounds and measures 8.3 by 4.5 by 1.3 inches, a bit smaller and heavier than a couple of Fodor's travel guides.You can easily find machines with specifications that beat its 75-megahertz Pentium processor, 16 megabytes of RAM and 810-megabyte hard drive for half its $2,000 price.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 18, 2013
The other day (OK, it was last week -- your humble correspondent has been way behind on everything lately), Washington National Opera presented the premieres of three 20-minute pieces that as part of itsĀ  second annual American Opera Initiative. I found the experience rewarding on many levels. Each of these mini-operas addressed an American theme (immigration provided a subject for two of the three). Each revealed a certain confidence, a sense of purpose, a determination to make a meaningful statement.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | April 19, 1993
In "Treemonisha" (1911) Scott Joplin tried to write a "real" opera. That is to say that Joplin, the African-American whose ragtime music had conquered the world, attempted to write an opera in the European sense. And his own libretto -- the story of a young girl who teaches her people that education can liberate them from superstition and misery -- expressed what he considered the ideals of his race. The European aspects of "Treemonisha" are the weakest things about it. Some of the extended solos are much too long, the libretto about former slaves in 1880s' Arkansas is pretty bad, and some of the music sounds like watered-down Dvorak.
NEWS
By Glenn McNatt | June 19, 1991
WE SPED down to Washington Monday night to hear the local girl make good."This will be something special," I confided to Wife as we cruised down the parkway. "Keyontia Hawkins of Baltimore will one day be recognized as our fair city's fairest bequest to the grand opera houses of the world.""You are talking like a libretto," Wife complained. "And besides, you have a tin ear."That hurt my feelings. Didn't Wife know perfectly well that I had been struggling diligently for years to overcome the limitations of a tin ear by practicing Gilda's aria from "Rigoletto," Il caro nome, in the shower each morning?
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | December 16, 2004
`Rent' returns Rent - Jonathan Larson's rock-music retelling of La Boheme - returns to Baltimore Monday for a one-week run at the Hippodrome Theatre. Winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award, the musical became the 10th longest-running show in Broadway history earlier this year. Larson's libretto moves the opera's story to New York's East Village, substitutes AIDS for tuberculosis and peoples the cast with a rock musician, video artist, street drummer, performance artist, etc. The touring production stars Tallia Brinson as Mimi, an exotic dancer; Dan Rosenbaum plays her love interest, Roger, a songwriter; and Andy Meeks is his roommate, Mark, a filmmaker.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | July 10, 2003
Strange adventure! Maiden wedded to a groom she's never seen ... Groom about to be beheaded in an hour on Tower Green." That, in a nutshell, explains the setup of Gilbert and Sullivan's 11th collaboration out of a remarkable 14 operettas, The Yeomen of the Guard, which is being revived by the Young Victorian Theatre Company for its 33rd season over the next two weekends. The plot, however, only begins to explain this work and its attractions. G&S aficionados have always ranked Yeomen among the best of the lot, though it is the least typical, largely eschewing the musical and theatrical slapstick that spark H.M.S.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,sun music critic | November 13, 2006
It was a calculated act of kindness that changed the opera world. A prescient impresario thrust a libretto with a biblical plot into the hands of a reluctant and depressed Giuseppe Verdi, who was then thinking about never composing again after the exceptionally modest success of his first opera and humiliating flop of his second. Something about that unsolicited libretto caught Verdi's imagination and led to his first certified hit, Nabucco - and the birth of his genius. Nabucco 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8:15 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Sunday, Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. Tickets $45-$127.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 28, 2005
The best opera about the sainted medieval peasant girl who saved France didn't make a sound. That would be Carl Dreyer's 1928 silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc, which couldn't be more operatic in its theatrical weight or intensity of expression. Verdi and Tchaikovsky tried hard to give Joan the opera she deserved; both came up short. Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans has suffered a particularly bad rap. Although an initial success in St. Petersburg in 1881, it sank quickly, considered by many to be a drama-dead libretto (the composer's own)
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | December 16, 2004
`Rent' returns Rent - Jonathan Larson's rock-music retelling of La Boheme - returns to Baltimore Monday for a one-week run at the Hippodrome Theatre. Winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award, the musical became the 10th longest-running show in Broadway history earlier this year. Larson's libretto moves the opera's story to New York's East Village, substitutes AIDS for tuberculosis and peoples the cast with a rock musician, video artist, street drummer, performance artist, etc. The touring production stars Tallia Brinson as Mimi, an exotic dancer; Dan Rosenbaum plays her love interest, Roger, a songwriter; and Andy Meeks is his roommate, Mark, a filmmaker.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | July 10, 2003
Strange adventure! Maiden wedded to a groom she's never seen ... Groom about to be beheaded in an hour on Tower Green." That, in a nutshell, explains the setup of Gilbert and Sullivan's 11th collaboration out of a remarkable 14 operettas, The Yeomen of the Guard, which is being revived by the Young Victorian Theatre Company for its 33rd season over the next two weekends. The plot, however, only begins to explain this work and its attractions. G&S aficionados have always ranked Yeomen among the best of the lot, though it is the least typical, largely eschewing the musical and theatrical slapstick that spark H.M.S.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and By Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | November 3, 2002
If you needed evidence to support the (now outre) maxim that behind every successful man is a woman, the case of Jetty Treffz and her husband, Johann Strauss the Younger, works very well. If it weren't for her, he might never have gotten serious about composing operettas. And for a delectable example of how a philandering husband can have a clever wife right behind him, plotting and executing the perfect revenge, you can't do much better than Strauss' greatest operetta -- the greatest Viennese operetta, period -- Die Fledermaus.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith | April 14, 2002
Fans of the Robert Graves novel I, Claudius, so brilliantly dramatized for TV years ago, will have an automatic entry point into Opera Vivente's next production -- Handel's Agrippina. Fans of another fun old TV series, Dynasty, should have an even easier time. Composed around 1709, at the end of Handel's three-year stay in Italy, the opera caused something of a sensation when it was premiered in Venice. Both the plot and the music were just what the public there craved -- lots of humor and irony to spice up the tale of how Agrippina, wife of Claudius, connives to get her son Nero onto the throne of Rome, lots of florid arias and colorful orchestration to provide aural delight.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | July 12, 1999
Poet W. S. Gilbert and composer Sir Arthur Sullivan continue to shine in each other's reflected light. The magic in the ampersand of Gilbert & Sullivan remains undiminished. In terms of number of performances, amateur as well as professional, they are still ahead of more recent musical partnerships like Rodgers and Hammerstein or even Rice and Lloyd Webber."I grew up with the stuff," says Roger Brunyate, the director of the Young Victorian Theater Company's new production of G & S' "The Gondoliers," which opens today at the Bryn Mawr School.
BUSINESS
By Stephen Manes and Stephen Manes,New York Times News Service | November 17, 1997
WHAT comes to mind when somebody mentions "a hot computer"? Probably not a machine whose manual advises against using it "directly on your lap because it can generate heat enough to cause low-temperature burns" and notes that if you try "to use a smoking or unusually noisy computer system, this could result in a fire or electric shock to you."According to a product manager for the Mobile Computing Division of Mitsubishi Electronics America, a unit of the Mitsubishi Electric Industrial Corp.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | July 14, 2001
NEW YORK - There's an old line about Vivaldi, that he didn't write 500 concertos, but one concerto 500 times. Some folks aim a similar zinger at Philip Glass, a leader of minimalism whose manner of repeating melodic and rhythmic patterns has made him one of the most instantly recognizable composers of our time. But there's something admirable about the man's steadfastness, his devotion to a particular style and particular issues. Twenty-five years ago, at the Metropolitan Opera, Glass and director/designer Robert Wilson collaborated on one of the landmarks of minimalism, Einstein on the Beach, a visually provocative, non-narrative opera.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | November 19, 2000
In this well-used, second-story studio lined with music books, a new opera is taking shape A large wooden desk with a manuscript stand sits in the middle of the room; an electronic keyboard fits snugly underneath the desk. A thick libretto book, with many handwritten rewordings and crossed-out lines, sits to one side. On the other is a similarly marked-up hardback copy of the 1979 novel that has inspired the libretto and the music -- William Styron's "Sophie's Choice." The balding, bespectacled man with the studious expression who spends several hours most days in that room, painstakingly transforming Styron's best-selling fiction into opera, is Nicholas Maw. When the British-born composer is not at work in his dignified 19th-century clapboard home on a high, wooded lot of Washington's Takoma Park neighborhood, he can be found two days a week teaching at the Peabody Conservatory.
Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.