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Arts America Blog

Crescent City’s music and performers impress; but does hyperopera live up to the hype?

It’s amazing how much of our experience of the world is predicated on expectation. I can’t count the number of comedies I’ve been disappointed by because I’d heard how amazing they were, and how many events I’ve loved because I hadn’t been expecting much. Crescent City, the first production from The Industry, LA’s new opera company, suffers from this unfortunate effect of impossibly high expectations. It is, however, a pretty …more…

American Youth Symphony’s triumphant kick off concert for The Elfman Project

I can’t imagine how many people skip out on American Youth Symphony concerts because of the name, thinking, “I don’t want to hear a bunch of kids.” Let’s get something straight: when the musicians in this orchestra come together to play, they sound better than most of our country’s professional orchestras. The upper limit on age is 27; the large majority of musicians are studying their instruments full time at …more…

Sylvia: A darkly effective musing on inner turmoil

Independently produced opera can be an unwieldy beast.  Sometimes you come hoping for the cutting edge, and get something unstaged that sounds like a failed attempt at Sondheim on an out of tune piano. Sometimes representation of the action leaves far, far too much to the imagination to make showing up worthwhile. But sometimes — most often because the composer, director, and musicians have the talent and dedication to pull …more…