MOST RECENT ARTICLES BY:

Justin Davidson

  1. streaming opera
    Streaming Now: The Metropolitan Opera’s Tristan und IsoldeA 2016 production with familiar tropes.
  2. coronavirus
    The New York Philharmonic, Closed Till September, Is Winding Down Musicians’ PaySalaries will be cut back gradually through May 31, and the summer is under negotiation.
  3. opera review
    Streaming Tonight: A Tale of Two Tones in the Met’s La TraviataMichael Mayer’s production makes the sparkly life so unsexy and over-sugared, the last act’s bleakness comes off as refreshingly spare.
  4. opera
    The Metropolitan Opera Is Furloughing Its Orchestra, Chorus, and TradesThey’ll retain health and instrument insurance, but not their salaries.
  5. vulture recommends
    The Best Operas You Should Stream While They’re FreeA week at the virtual Met Opera is a week without duds or off nights.
  6. cityscape
    How Real Architecture Inspired Westworld’s Futuristic CitiesThe meaning behind season three’s deluxe urban dystopia, agleam with prosperity and gentrified to a high polish.
  7. coronavirus
    Arts Organizations Are Heading Into Crisis. A Few Things Might Mitigate It.Performers and staff, already living close to the edge, have little margin for a long layoff.
  8. opera review
    Opera Review: Great Voices and Coked-Up Staging in the Met’s AgrippinaJoyce DiDonato leads a cast that’s directed at a frantic pace.
  9. classical music
    Why I’d Rather Hear the Danish String Quartet Than Any Other FoursomeRange, musicality, sparkling technique without stony seriousness.
  10. music
    58 Minutes With the Omnivorous Composer Caroline ShawA composer of eclectic influences and twisty, back and forth scores (and, by the way, a Pulitzer winner).
  11. the lost canon
    It’s Time We All Heard the Music of Lili BoulangerOne of France’s great composers, she was ignored because she was a woman who died young.
  12. opera review
    Review: A Grungy, Glorious New Wozzeck at the MetWilliam Kentridge’s new production makes its debut.
  13. best of 2019
    The Best Classical-Music Performances of 2019A rough year for institutions, a great year for their music.
  14. opera review
    Gleaming and Self-Aware, Philip Glass’s Akhnaten Is Borne to the MetGilt is everywhere.
  15. classical music
    At Lincoln Center, Schumann Gets a Toughening-Up in ZauberlandA new piece reinterprets the songs of ‘Dichterliebe.’
  16. art and architecture
    Two Critics — Art and Architecture — Compare Their New MoMA ExperiencesSaltz and Davidson on the newly expanded museum.
  17. #metoo
    Plácido Domingo Played Charming Rogues Onstage and a Monstrous One in PrivateOnstage at the Met, he was a persuasive bad guy. We were seeing more than we knew.
  18. opera review
    A Gorgeous Porgy and Bess, Its Flaws Intact, at the Metropolitan OperaAll those musical superpowers on the Met’s stage make Porgy as easy to love as it is hard to swallow.
  19. fall preview
    The Best Classical Music Performances to See This FallPorgy and Bess returns, Kelli O’Hara sings with the New York Philharmonic, and more.
  20. fall preview 2019
    Anthony Roth Costanzo Is the Pharaoh We NeedThe countertenor brings the sexually ambiguous monarch of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten to the Met.
  21. music
    The Black Clown Plays to the Crowd in the Best Possible WaysA controlled explosion of joy and rage that meets desires audiences didn’t even know they had.
  22. classical music
    The Met Opera’s Yannick Nézet-Séguin Has Found His FootingAfter a few years adrift, the company has found its sheriff — or maybe shepherd is a better word.
  23. classical music
    The Pianist Cécile Chaminade, Rediscovered (and the Club That Never Forgot Her)A star composer a century ago, now barely known.
  24. encounter
    Michael Tilson Thomas, a Disruptor Who’s Become the Comfortable CenterA New York visit from the busy conductor, as he steps down from his San Francisco Symphony job.
  25. opera
    Why You Should Battle Your Way in to See This GötterdämmerungThe slats are silly, but the soloists are not.
  26. new music
    Thomas Adès Finds a Way Forward for the Piano ConcertoFull of historic references, but all new.
  27. the metropolitan opera
    Christine Goerke Is a Spectacular Wagnerian First DaughterBrünnhilde’s personal branding has never been better.
  28. now that's what i call music
    Gabriel Kahane Turns Funny Tweets and Mitt Romney Quotes Into Micro-Songs“My favorite meat is hot dog.” Sing it with us now.
  29. best of 2018
    The 10 Best Classical-Music Performances of 2018Messiaen, Mahler, and a mile of singers.
  30. opera review
    Opera Review: The Unseen Great War, in William Kentridge’s The Head and the LoadThe North Africa campaign that the West often forgets about.
  31. close reads
    The Hidden Meaning Behind My Brilliant Friend’s Neapolitan DialectIf Neapolitan is the language of Lenù and Lila’s imprisoning neighborhood, then Italian is the language of social mobility.
  32. music
    Music Review: Two Pianos, 20 Fingers, Infinite PleasureMessiaen’s Visions de l’Amen, at Zankel Hall.
  33. opera review
    Opera Review: On the Lightness of Nico Muhly’s Marnie“This deluxe production of a lavish opera rests on such a wispy score.”
  34. opera review
    High Notes on the High Line: The Mile-Long OperaVernacular voices strung like Christmas lights along an elevated park.
  35. opera review
    Opera Review: Anna Netrebko, an Old-Style Diva, in AidaBut really, the Met Opera needs to eliminate the brownface.
  36. q&a
    ‘Phenomenal Levels of Denial and Arrogance’: Heidi Waleson on City Opera’s End“It was loony.”
  37. classical-music review
    Opera Review: The Met Brings Back Samson et Dalila, With Just Enough Fromage“To describe it as gaudy and silly is a compliment, not a complaint.”
  38. classical-music review
    What’s Opera, Jaap? Van Zweden’s Opening Night as the Philharmonic’s New LeaderNew music by Ashley Fure, old music by Stravinsky, and a Wagner chaser.
  39. music review
    Music Review: Leonard Bernstein Is Paid Half-Hearted Tribute at TanglewoodAndris Nelsons conducted as if he would rather be at home watching TV. Some music can endure an uncommitted performance; Bernstein’s can’t.
  40. new music
    What’s That Sound? In Ashley Fure’s Compositions, It Could Be Almost Anything.Twanging aircraft cables? Crinkly paper moved by speaker vibrations? Sure.
  41. architecture
    The MoMA’s Tribute to Yugoslavia’s ‘Concrete Utopia’ Is a RevelationThis hugely ambitious show portrays an idiosyncratic, multiethnic, and open postwar society that propelled itself into the industrial age with brio.
  42. music review
    Music Review: Leonard Bernstein’s Mass Has Finally Found Its EraIt’s been called bloated, dated, naïve — but it also contains a lot of beauty.
  43. first person
    On 10 Years of the New New-Music Scene, and 30 Years of My OwnAs the city has become more global, I have watched the music world get healthier, more complex, and less hermetic.
  44. Beethoven’s Fidelio and Mahler’s Tenth, With the Conventions Tossed AwayBeethoven’s only opera, reinterpreted in the era of mass incarceration.
  45. classical music review
    Shostakovich, With Bright L.A. Glare, at Lincoln CenterDudamel brings out the symphony’s loudest, brightest aspects.
  46. Opera Review: Così Fan Tutte, Kelli O’Hara, and the Long Shadow of James LevineA new production with one of Broadway’s biggest voices, and also a ghost.
  47. The Case for the (Non-Harassing, Worth the Trouble) Creative GeniusWe don’t want more James Levines. But how about more Zaha Hadids?
  48. the met
    10 Questions the Met Must Answer About James LevineThe Met Opera has fired its musical director amid allegations of sexual abuse. But they still have lots of explaining to do.
  49. Opera Review: Semiramide, a Gorgeous Relic of the 1890s and 1990sAngela Meade glides through one musical triple lutz after another.
  50. classical music
    The Future Is (a Little More) Female at the New York PhilharmonicDeborah Borda takes over as CEO, with big plans.
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