All stories by Mark Swed on BroadwayStars

Monday, March 10, 2014

Taking inspiration from opera visionary Gerard Mortier by Mark Swed

An appreciation: Los Angeles owes much to the late Gerard Mortier, who revolutionized the Salzburg Festival and helped give Esa-Pekka Salonen and the L.A. Philharmonic an international stage…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 11:40PM
Friday, February 28, 2014

Review: Tchaikovsky on a grand scale by Mark Swed

The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra performs Tchaikovsky at Walt Disney Concert Hall led by Gustavo Dudamel.Orchestras everywhere play a lot of Tchaikovsky. The Simón Bolívar Symphony O…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 08:30AM
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Furor follows L.A. Phil's Gustavo Dudamel by Mark Swed

L.A. Philharmonic maestro Gustavo Dudamel disputes news reports and tries to distance himself from political unrest and violence in his native Venezuela.Wherever he goes, Los Angeles Philhar…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:30AM
Thursday, February 13, 2014

Critic's Pick: 'Death and the Powers' melds opera and apps at Hammer by Mark Swed

Attending the opera was once straighforward. Buy a ticket and go. But that was before the information age. A little more can be involved these days.

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 12:00PM
Monday, February 3, 2014

Review: A Baltic blast with L.A. Philharmonic by Mark Swed

With Andrey Boreyko conducting, the L.A. Phil touches down in the Baltic for an absorbing evening of Anders Hillborg's 'King Tide,' Carl Nielsen's Violin Concerto and Sibelius' Second Sympho…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 08:00AM
Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Opera review: 'Queenie Pie' picks up where Duke Ellington left off by Mark Swed

Long Beach Opera makes the most ambitious effort yet on a Duke Ellington opera-in-the-making, and it has an electrifying cast to work with.Did Duke Ellington want to write an opera? Absolute…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 08:30AM
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review: With 'Turn of the Screw,' Pacific Opera Project gets serious by Mark Swed

A young company assembles a strong cast of emerging singers for the production of the Benjamin Britten work, its most ambitious offering, at an arts district venue.Pacific Opera Project, a y…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:35AM
Friday, December 20, 2013

Best of 2013: Mark Swed picks 'The Perfect American,' Kronos Quartet by Mark Swed

Kronos Quartet, George Benjamin's 'Written on Skin,' Christopher Cerrone's 'Invisible Cities' and more.In this time when news is disseminated ever more quickly, we asked our critics to list …

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 11:30AM

The perfect time for the 'Perfect American' by Mark Swed

Notes on the Year: The Philip Glass opera 'The Perfect American' does more for the image of Walt Disney as an artist than Disney's own film 'Saving Mr. Banks.'Philip Glass, who turned 76 the…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 11:30AM
Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: 'Falstaff' dramatically flawed but musically bracing by Mark Swed

Los Angeles Opera's new production leans too often on jokey shtick, but music director James Conlon deftly handles Verdi's magical score.Los Angeles finally has its first new "Falstaff" in d…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 08:30AM
Monday, October 21, 2013

Review: An inward tour through 'Invisible Cities' by Mark Swed

In 'Invisible Cities,' audiences roam Union Station to experience Christopher Cerrone's new opera based on Italo Calvino's novel. But much of this fascinating tale is meant to be imagined.If…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 03:29PM
Sunday, October 13, 2013

Review: Time and space are one in thrilling 'Einstein on the Beach' by Mark Swed

From the first counts to the last four ecstatic hours later, Los Angeles Opera's heroic mounting of the experimental Philip Glass and Robert Wilson work 'Einstein on the Beach' is a rapturou…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 10:05PM
Saturday, October 5, 2013

Philip Glass' 'Einstein' is opera because 'that's where the stuff was' by Mark Swed

As Los Angeles Opera prepares to present 'Einstein on the Beach,' composer Philip Glass discusses the 37-year-old work's creation.NEW YORK — What opera launched a legendarily prolific …

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 12:00PM
Thursday, October 3, 2013

'My Moby Dick' comes to Broad Stage by Mark Swed

The Los Angeles Public Library has been obsessing over “Moby Dick” lately,  with celebrity readings, discussions, scientific studies, family days, film screenings and whatnot.

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 12:30PM
Thursday, September 12, 2013

'King Gesar' gathers 'round the campfire in Long Beach by Mark Swed

The late American composer Peter Lieberson imagined he was creating a campfire opera, a Tibetan Buddhist legend told by a narrator, who recites, scats and sings, backed by a small instrument…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 11:30AM
Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gay bullying inspires composer David Del Tredici's 'Bullycide' by Mark Swed

You can’t seemingly find a more insider composer than David Del Tredici, whose “Bullycide” was commissioned by La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest and will have its p…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 12:40PM
Monday, August 12, 2013

Review: Gustavo Dudamel delivers a blockbuster 'Aida' by Mark Swed

The Los Angeles Philharmonic's Gustavo Dudamel conducts a roller-coaster thrill ride at the Hollywood Bowl.I wonder whether the 9,985 who showed up at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday to hear Gu…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 07:40PM
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: San Francisco Opera's 'Mary Magdalene' takes Broadway turn by Mark Swed

Mark Adamo may have invented a biblical Broadway/opera hybrid in the memorable 'Gospel of Mary Magdalene.'SAN FRANCISCO — There have been, in modern times, three Marilyns, a couple of …

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 07:05PM
Thursday, June 13, 2013

Review: Mark Morris' 'Spring' bucks recent 'Rite' by Mark Swed

'Spring, Spring, Spring,' from the choreographer with an arrangement by the Bad Plus, reverses trends in performing Stravinksy's 'Rite of Spring.'BERKELEY — "The Rite of Spring" is a b…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 07:50PM
Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: Six opera works-in-progress, all terrific , from the Industry by Mark Swed

Promising great things in the First Take at the Hammer are Mohammed Fairouz's 'Pierrot' and Pauline Oliveros' 'The Nubian Word for Flower.'Opera, in our parts, has embarked upon an exception…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 08:00AM
Monday, April 15, 2013

Theater for the unfocused mind by Mark Swed

Critic's Notebook: Stanford's 'brain-like' Bing Concert Hall tends to engulf its audience, making it perhaps the perfect setting for the premiere of 'Visitations,' Jonathan Berger's chamber …

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 08:00AM
Saturday, March 30, 2013

London opera companies' 'crisis' is others' envy by Mark Swed

The Royal Opera and English National Opera may be in flux, but what they're putting on stage is instructive for American companies.LONDON — The editor of Opera is worried.

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 11:00AM
Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: 'Cinderella's' many rewards by Mark Swed

A whimsical production of the Rossini work that has been imported by L.A. Opera offers satire, class warfare — and lovable rats. Definitely bring the kids.The romanticized image Los An…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 08:00AM
Saturday, March 9, 2013

Review: 'Gospel According to the Other Mary' emerges reborn by Mark Swed

John Adams has reworked his Passion/oratorio, Peter Sellars staged it and Gustavo Dudamel really brings it to life."The Gospel According to the Other Mary" is now another "Other Mary," the "…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 01:00AM
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Controversial 'Death of Klinghoffer' to finally get L.A. debut by David Ng, Sherry Stern and Mark Swed

"The Death of Klinghoffer," the controversial 1991 opera by John Adams, is scheduled to make its much-belated Los Angeles-area debut in 2014. But the producing company won't be L.A. Opera, w…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:30AM
Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Wagner 'Ring' that's sustainably powered by Mark Swed

A river and a dragon shaped by writhing performers. A budget nearly one-eighth of L.A.'s. In Munich, the beast is inventively and economically tackled.MUNICH, Germany — Wagner's "The R…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 01:00PM
Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review: Walt Disney in fantasyland by Mark Swed

In the new Philip Glass opera, 'The Perfect American,' the visionary is a flawed, dying man who, even so, makes magic.MADRID — Walt Disney was hardly a perfect American.

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 07:00AM
Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Long Beach Opera's 'The Paper Nautilus' enchants by Mark Swed

Gavin Bryars' 'Paper Nautilus' makes its American debut in a splendid, fluid performance at the Aquarium of the Pacific.Eight Summer Olympics ago, it was Los Angeles' turn. We did well with …

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 12:30AM
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Opera review: 'Nixon in China' by San Francisco Opera hits highs and lows by Mark Swed

San Francisco Opera's staging of 'Nixon in China' features a capable cast. But exaggerated makeup and wigs, and silly dances detract from the production.SAN FRANCISCO — A production he…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 03:00AM
Saturday, June 2, 2012

Review: John Adams thinks big in this new telling of the Gospel by Mark Swed

The composer and librettist Peter Sellars look at Christ's Passion through the eyes of women caregivers. It's 'The Gospel According to the Other Mary.'Many of John Adams' scores pursue the b…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 03:00AM
Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: 'Don Giovanni' feels right at home in Disney Hall by Mark Swed

The Los Angeles Philharmonic's new production of the Mozart opera is an extraordinary achievement, freshly illuminated and site-specific. Los Angeles Opera can stop worrying right now.

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 03:00AM

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