All stories by Alex Ross on BroadwayStars

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Metropolitan Opera’s Split Personality by Alex Ross

Alex Ross on the company’s tacky “Semiramide” and glorious “Parsifal.”

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 05:00AM
Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Field Guide to “Star Wars” Musical Leitmotifs by Alex Ross

Alex Ross on “The Last Jedi” and the Wagnerian leitmotifs created by John Williams for the “Star Wars” universe.

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 05:45PM
Monday, March 13, 2017

The Fate of the Critic in the Clickbait Age by Alex Ross

The critic’s profession may be destined to fade away, but others will have to take up this simple, irritating, somehow necessary job.

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 05:55PM
Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Met Chooses Yannick Nézet-Séguin by Alex Ross

The Metropolitan Opera last named a new music director in May of 1975. Gerald Ford had been President for less than a year; Saigon had fallen a few weeks earlier; Barack Obama was thirteen. …

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 05:42PM
Thursday, April 14, 2016

James Levine’s Accomplishment at the Met by Alex Ross

No one who follows classical music can have been remotely surprised by the announcement that came in from the Metropolitan Opera earlier today: James Levine, who has been the dominant artist…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 07:57PM
Monday, March 28, 2016

Opera Startups by Alex Ross

Last year, the British critic Philip Clark had a provocative response to the perennial question of how to save classical music from its so-called image problem—the perception that it is st…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 07:23AM
Monday, November 9, 2015

Opera on Location by Alex Ross

Jonah Levy, a thirty-year-old trumpet player based in Los Angeles, has lately developed a curious weekend routine. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, he puts on a white shirt, a black tie, bla…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 08:24AM
Monday, May 4, 2015

High Concept by Alex Ross

In the prologue to “Pagliacci,” Ruggiero Leoncavallo’s nimble shocker of 1892, the singer who is about to play the hunchbacked clown Tonio delivers a sly apologia for the mayhem to com…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Saturday, April 4, 2015

Postscript: Andrew Porter (1928-2015) by Alex Ross

Andrew Porter, who wrote the Musical Events column for The New Yorker from 1972 to 1992, was not one to throw around superlatives carelessly, but on the occasion of his death—he passed awa…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 02:53PM
Friday, February 27, 2015

Composing for Hollywood by Alex Ross

A few years ago, I heard a film composer tell of a director’s reaction to his labors: “O.K., now make it twenty per cent more Cuban.” Such is the humble lot of composers in Hollywood: …

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 10:01AM
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Met’s Klinghoffer Problem by Alex Ross

The Met should have been better prepared for the outcry over a perennial source of controversy in the opera world.

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:31PM
Monday, June 16, 2014

Alex Ross: The New York Philharmonic Biennial. by Alex Ross

The mission of the New York Philharmonic Biennial, whose inaugural edition overran several of the city’s concert halls in the last days of May and the first week of June, is a brave an…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Friday, January 24, 2014

Alex Ross: Master percussionist Steven Schick, at Miller Theatre. by Alex Ross

The master percussionist Steven Schick, who will present a two-night, one-man survey of his repertory this week at Miller Theatre, grew up on a farm near Clear Lake, Iowa. His earliest music…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Friday, October 18, 2013

Alex Ross: The Gotham Chamber Opera stages “Mahagonny Songspiel.” by Alex Ross

Lotte Lenya never forgot the moment when she felt the musical world shift. It was in the rarefied setting of the German Chamber Music Festival, in Baden-Baden in 1927. “Mahagonny Songs…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, September 30, 2013

Alex Ross: “Anna Nicole” and “Eugene Onegin” reviews. by Alex Ross

An opera about the strange life and sad death of Anna Nicole Smith, the Playboy model turned reality-TV star, sounds like an expensive joke. Mark-Anthony Turnage’s “Anna Nicole,…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, July 22, 2013

Alex Ross: Ira Aldridge, the pioneering black Shakespearean. by Alex Ross

In 1896, a thirty-six-year-old opera singer named Luranah Aldridge travelled to Germany to prepare for performances of Wagner’s “Ring of the Nibelung,” at the Bayreuth Fest…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, April 1, 2013

Alex Ross: Shock tactics at the opera. by Alex Ross

This year, opera on the East Coast has taken a turn toward the lurid, the sordid, the subversive, and the cryptic—in short, toward theatrical values that are more commonly found on Eur…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, February 25, 2013

Alex Ross: “Parsifal,” at the Metropolitan Opera. by Alex Ross

François Girard’s new staging of Wagner’s “Parsifal,” at the Metropolitan Opera, is nearly as inexplicable as the work itself. The Knights of the Grail, dressed …

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, November 26, 2012

Alex Ross: “The Tempest” and “Un Ballo in Maschera,” at the Met. by Alex Ross

The 2011-12 season at the Metropolitan Opera was among the least artistically successful in recent memory, with vast quantities of money and labor sucked into the black hole of Robert Lepage…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, March 26, 2012

Alex Ross: Can the Kennedy Center find new life? by Alex Ross

Harry Truman, an amateur pianist who often brought miniature scores with him to classical performances in Washington, D.C., once wondered aloud why the capital lacked a decent venue for conc…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, March 5, 2012

Alex Ross: The Met, City Opera, and the decline of opera in New York. by Alex Ross

Last fall, Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, raised eyebrows on both sides of the Atlantic when he talked to the Times about the production history of Nico MuhlyR…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, January 16, 2012

Alex Ross: “The Enchanted Island,” at the Met. by Alex Ross

"The Enchanted Island," a lavishly zany production now playing at the Met (it will be broadcast in the company’s “Live in HD” series on Jan. 21), revives the concept of the Baroque p…

SOURCE: The New Yorker Subscription at 12:00AM