Recently, the Metropolitan Opera has made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Be it pre-season labor disputes with the man Peter Gelb, opening night unrest care of Leon Klinghoffer and Rudy Guiliani or just a simple technical glitch during the broadcast at your local cinema, what's been lost as of late is a lot. Such controversies, however inflated, do obscure the institution's real mission statement. First and perhaps foremost, is the fact that the Met remains this country's most enduring repertory company. For every Klinghoffer or Iolanta premiere in 2014-15, there are as many, if not more, reheated Aidas and prefab Meistersingers. Come the holidays, highly touted new productions of Le Nozze di Figaro and The Merry Widow will run alongside evergreen faire like Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Hansel and Gretel. And, let's be honest, it is the latter, lighter of these programming options that the casual opera-goer is wont to experience there at Lincoln Center. In fact, Mr. Gelb is banking on it.
German theremin virtuoso Carolina Eyck and pianist/composer Christopher Tarnow set their American debut today by way of Improvisations for Theremin and Piano on Buttersctoch Records. Produced by Allen Farmelo, Improvisations modernizes the theremin and piano in a sonically jangled delight for all five senses.
Some of the monks in medieval scriptoriums were less gifted than others when it came to drawing the human figure. But their scenes of cavorting minstrels, mischievous monks and animals playing the bagpipes were the cartoons of their day.