All stories by Whitney Fishburn on BroadwayStars

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Eric Whitacre’s new virtual choral work is testament to power of community by Whitney Fishburn

“Human beings will go to any length necessary to find and connect with each other.” —Eric Whitacre, in a 2011 TED Talk Even anti-maskers, I suppose, are dimly aware of the heightened r…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:08PM
Monday, March 9, 2020

‘Riffs and Relations’: WNO’s Cafritz Young Artists Program sounds so very American by Whitney Fishburn

You’d have to be dead not to enjoy a recital of the caliber given this past Sunday in the Phillips Collection Music Room by members of the current class of Washington National Opera’s Ca…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:30PM
Saturday, March 7, 2020

IN Series’ ‘Dorothy Fields Cabaret’ honors first woman inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame by Whitney Fishburn

In my 20s, I lamented that despite being well-schooled in American literature, I’d ended up a failure at knowing much of our nation’s poetry by heart. But when I set out to entertain mys…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:28AM
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

WNO’s ‘Don Giovanni’ signals the cultural and healing power of Washington’s arts scene by Whitney Fishburn

The Washington National Opera’s current production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni confirms two important ideas. The first is that while opera is most effective when it entertains, its intrinsi…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:36PM
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Opera Lafayette debuts sophisticated recreation of Beethoven’s ‘Leonore (1805)’ by Whitney Fishburn

Thanks in part to the bold addition of a missing tenor aria, Opera Lafayette’s elegant production of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Leonore (1805), last night at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhowe…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:38PM
Friday, February 21, 2020

NSO: Noseda’s homecoming mints the ‘NSO sound’ in spectacular Mahler’s Fifth Symphony by Whitney Fishburn

Even though being a classical music reviewer often feels like a gig too good to be true, I don’t recall ever forgetting my purpose for attending a performance. There’s a first for everyt…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:24PM
Thursday, February 13, 2020

The New Orchestra of Washington presents a love so powerful it hurts in ‘A Poet’s Love: It’s Complicated’ by Whitney Fishburn

While much of the city is abuzz with romantic romping this Valentine’s Day weekend, the New Orchestra of Washington will concern itself with the transformative power of love and loss when …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:37PM
Friday, January 17, 2020

Pianist Yefim Bronfman dazzles, while NSO disengages under guest conductor Gemma New by Whitney Fishburn

Nature, nuance, or its lack thereof, were central themes when the National Symphony Orchestra welcomed fledgling conductor Gemma New, pianist Yefim Bronfman, and the young composer Salina Fi…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:20PM
Monday, January 13, 2020

Old dogs and new tricks: the Hermès Quartet and guests in performance at the Phillips Collection by Whitney Fishburn

Here’s a thought: Older virtuosi are boring. That’s not original to me, but to an audience member who offered his views during a concert intermission recently. We were at the Phillips Co…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:50PM
Saturday, January 11, 2020

WNO’s American Opera Initiative 2020 is an essential take on opera in America by Whitney Fishburn

“It’s a ridiculous thing to sing at the top of your lungs about your vulnerability,” American composer Laura Kaminsky observed to this year’s Washington National Opera’s American O…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:27PM
Monday, January 6, 2020

IN Series’ ‘Le Cabaret de Carmen’ is opera for those unafraid of art’s raw power by Whitney Fishburn

“I want us to be in contention for a Helen Hayes Award,” IN Series artistic director Timothy Nelson told me last fall over coffee near his office in the Shaw neighborhood. We were discus…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:18PM
Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The ‘Long View’ glimpses inner life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Whitney Fishburn

There has been plenty of backlash during this administration against what some critics have called “the cult” of RBG, aka, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Some are critical of…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:10PM
Monday, December 16, 2019

Choral Arts Society Holiday Concert: sing along and hear expert musicians celebrate the season by Whitney Fishburn

If singing along to the Hallelujah Chorus or Hark, the Herald Angels Sing are requisite to bolstering your holiday spirit, then Songs of the Season: Christmas with Choral Arts at the Kennedy…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:38PM
Sunday, December 8, 2019

IN Series’ ‘L’enfance du Christ’ offers all-comers respite, transcendence, unity by Whitney Fishburn

How history will judge us for this administration’s treatment of Central American migrant children, I often wonder. And yet, our record of abuse against “Other” is not partisan, but ha…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:23PM
Monday, November 25, 2019

BSO’s latest Lera Auerbach commission worthy of attention by Whitney Fishburn

A frustration of many classical and contemporary music critics is that we hear a new work that seems to have great promise for being added to the canon, and then poof! It disappears, never t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:15PM
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

BSO performs US premiere of Lera Auerbach’s ‘Eve’s Lament – O Flowers, That Never Will Grow’ this week in Baltimore and Bethesda by Whitney Fishburn

Now that this summer’s drama surrounding the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s financial woes has quieted, at least for now, we can focus on the significant contributions our home state orc…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:54PM
Thursday, November 14, 2019

Cantus’s ‘Alone Together’ at the Kennedy Center puts form over function by Whitney Fishburn

Attending Cantus’s Alone Together at the Kennedy Center made me realize that meaningful interaction relies as much upon solitude and mystery as it does connection and revelation. The vocal…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:53PM
Monday, November 11, 2019

Vocal ensemble Cantus explores human connection in the Digital Age with ‘Alone Together’ at the Kennedy Center by Whitney Fishburn

“I realized the thing I missed most in my process was people,” American composer Libby Larsen told me recently. She was speaking about her commissioned work “YOU,” which the vocal en…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:06PM
Friday, November 8, 2019

Exploding the canon: Inside the IN Series opera company’s “radical” practice  by Whitney Fishburn

Now into his second year leading IN Series, the itinerant company based at the Source Theater, artistic director Timothy Nelson has not been shy about challenging opera’s status quo.  “…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:24AM
Sunday, November 3, 2019

Washington National Opera’s ‘The Magic Flute’ is seamless, if too long by Whitney Fishburn

The opening night performance of Washington National Opera’s production of Wolfgang A. Mozart’s The Magic Flute was perfectly pleasing, even if the show as written is just too long. Trad…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:59PM
Thursday, October 31, 2019

A tragic ‘Otello’ at Washington National Opera by Whitney Fishburn

The crowd cheered.  We were on the Kennedy Center jitney to the Foggy Bottom Metro stop. I had just read aloud a text from my husband that said Howie Kendrick had hit a two-run homer to put…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:20PM
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Spektral Quartet lets audiences explore the space ‘in-between’ by Whitney Fishburn

Spektral Quartet’s Looking Skyward offers audiences opportunity to trust their instincts when approaching new music There was a time when I needed the cash, so I substitute taught high sch…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:03PM
Thursday, October 10, 2019

Appropriate or Appropriation? PostClassical Ensemble and The Lakota Music Project Frames Debate on Indigenous Music by Whitney Fishburn

If this summer’s Baltimore Symphony Orchestra labor dispute underscored that remonstrating over the sustainability of American symphony orchestras is pointless if we don’t clarify whethe…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:05PM
Sunday, September 29, 2019

A Last-Minute Program Change Helps Showcase NSO’s Evolving Signature Sound by Whitney Fishburn

The National Symphony Orchestra’s third season opener signaled a distinctively bright and cohesive sound is developing under Maestro Gianandrea Noseda. Noseda explained to the crowd that h…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:26PM
Friday, September 13, 2019

REACH Report: Renée Fleming, Angélique Kidjo, and Jason Moran by Whitney Fishburn

Two of the world’s biggest voices blended beautifully Thursday night on the Main Stage at the Kennedy Center’s REACH Opening Festival, demonstrating the power of song to unify and inspir…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:18PM
Sunday, September 1, 2019

Review: Olney Center Theatre’s ‘Cabaret’ Is Among the Show’s Best Productions by Whitney Fishburn

It’s been 54 years since Cabaret first opened on Broadway, but this season is the first time the Olney Theatre Center has staged the show. I have always loved this Kander and Ebb masterpie…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:45PM
Thursday, June 20, 2019

‘Musica Viva Kentlands’ brings European flair to Gaithersburg by Whitney Fishburn

Traveling through the south of France one glorious September, regardless of where my companion and I found ourselves, it seemed that at one point in the afternoon, there would be a classical…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:15PM
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Jets and Sharks: Is the BSO Missing an Opportunity? by Whitney Fishburn

Although I review the arts, most of my career has been spent as a health sciences writer. The combination means that although statistics might drive the bulk of what I write, my mind instinc…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:04AM
Friday, June 7, 2019

A Lively NSO Dazzles, Hinting of Still More Good Things to Come by Whitney Fishburn

Now that National Symphony Orchestra music director Gianandrea Noseda has nearly completed two full seasons – and has signed on to stay through 2025 – a clearer picture of the possibilit…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:40PM
Monday, May 20, 2019

WNO Gala Demonstrates America’s Solid Standing on Opera’s World Stage by Whitney Fishburn

From the nexus of divas, dollars, and diplomats at this year’s Washington National Opera Gala, there arose a thrilling truth: The finely frocked foreigners in attendance might question Ame…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:01AM
Monday, May 13, 2019

WNO’s ‘Tosca’ Serves Up Classic Opera Comfort Food Done Right by Whitney Fishburn

The Washington National Opera’s (WNO) fine opening night performance of Puccini’s Tosca provided an opportunity for catharsis and reflection, two things our overwrought city needs right…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:26PM

All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue