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This Opera Will Eat Your Heart Out

In few operas does all the mayhem express what underlies George Benjamin's Written on Skin. The work conveys a profound awareness of human cruelty and its inextricable connection to passion and art.


Cecilia Bartoli's New 'Mission' Unearths Baroque Gems.

Critic Lloyd Schwartz welcomes the opera star's new album, Mission, which breathes new life into the work of Italian composer Agostino Steffani. Bartoli, he says, has an astonishing capacity for vocal fireworks and warm, delicate lyricism.


'Porgy And Bess,' Adapted For Modern Times

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz just attended two productions of Porgy and Bess: an operatic performance at Tanglewood and a musical-theater version in Cambridge, Mass. He says it can work either way, "as long as Gershwin's great score remains its heart and soul."


'Sweethearts' On-Screen, But What Happens Off?

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers weren't the only famous Hollywood musical team of the 1930s. Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy also starred in a series of operettas. But classical music critic lloyd Schwartz says the couples achieved their success in quite opposite ways.


A Night At The Opera (On The Silver Screen)

Senso, a 1954 Italian political melodrama, and Two Sisters From Boston, a 1946 Hollywood comedy, couldn't be more different — except they're both set at the opera. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says he loves them both.


'Furore': Handel, Causing Quite A Fuss

American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato released a dazzling CD of Handel arias — Furore, a collection of set-pieces from operas and oratorios in which Handel's characters experience flights of passion.


'The Construction of Boston,' Caught On Disc

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a new CD of Scott Wheeler's opera, based on a hymn to Boston by the New York poet Kenneth Koch. The disc captures a live performance by the Boston Cecilia choral society.


Weill's 'Mahagonny' on DVD

Fresh Air's classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a new DVD release of a lesser-known Kurt Weill opera, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahoganny.


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