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Donna Perlmutter
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Blog Entries by Donna Perlmutter

Postino and Figaro: Underclass Heroes Who Usher in L.A. Opera's 25th Season

Posted September 29, 2010 | 17:24:35 (EST)

First came the play, then the Oscar-winning movie, followed by the novel, and now the opera: Daniel Catán's Il Postino. Who says the postman rings but twice?

Not the Los Angeles Opera, which, after a year's delay, finally got this ode to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda onstage for its world...

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Candide Travels the World and Arrives at Hollywood Bowl

Posted September 8, 2010 | 15:17:12 (EST)

Victimized by bitter circumstance? Not on a bet. Bernstein's Candide showed up at the Hollywood Bowl in concert version, courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by Bramwell Tovey, and a cast of remarkable singers. Yes, it was almost the best of all possible worlds.

But that doesn't mean...

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Dudamel Opens a New View at Hollywood Bowl

Posted August 9, 2010 | 16:47:05 (EST)

In case you haven't noticed, it's a whole new game at the Hollywood Bowl. Thank you, Mr. Camerman. Thank you for pointing your equipment at what everyone wants to see on those big screens at the mammoth showplace: the man of the moment, Gustavo Dudamel.

Of course it would take...

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A 'Beauty' in Tip-Top Touring Condition

Posted July 20, 2010 | 15:36:10 (EST)

Cause for cheer: American Ballet Theatre's 2007 production of The Sleeping Beauty. Why? Because the show is jam-packed with the exquisite glitter of a Fabergé egg - enough gorgeous dancing, deeply coached 19th-century mime characterizations and fairy tale glories to satisfy even the most curmudgeonly among us.

Now that it's...

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LA's Ring, the Whole Thing: Going for the Gold and Then Some

Posted July 1, 2010 | 15:07:32 (EST)

It's all over now, including the shouting. Three cycles of Wagner's tetralogy, Der Ring des Nibelungen, performed over a month of marathons, courtesy of the Los Angeles Opera. And was there shouting.

More than ever, today's media have their tongues hanging out for scandal-loaded sensationalism. So it's...

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Pina and Merce: Dance Visionaries Live On

Posted June 16, 2010 | 17:54:42 (EST)

They were planets apart, Pina Bausch and Merce Cunningham. Even their devotées seemed to breathe different air. But one year after both dance visionaries died -- she, suddenly, at a fully active 69, he at 90 -- Angelenos heard those giant footsteps resounding in great, welcoming celebrations last week.

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Dudamel Redux: Music Critics Eat Their Words

Posted June 3, 2010 | 15:50:46 (EST)

It was supposed to be the "Eat Your Heart Out" tour, with guest appearances by Gustavo Dudamel leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic in major U.S. cities. Very quickly, it became the "Sour Grapes" tour, or as some call it the "Schadenfreude" tour.

So what happened between the time when music...

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A Delayed Debut: Weilerstein Reunites With Dudamel at Disney Hall

Posted May 14, 2010 | 15:57:43 (EST)

She almost made it to her Los Angeles debut back in January, but illness kept Alisa Weilerstein away until now. No matter. The profoundly gifted cellist did keep her downtown date with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic and let us in on a big secret:

That towering...

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Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic Unite the Americas

Posted April 27, 2010 | 19:22:19 (EST)

He's back. After months of tending to his prior duties with other orchestras, Gustavo Dudamel has returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a festival of American music, or, better said, music of the Americas.

What's more, cashing in on his celebrity status our new podium meister was...

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A Touch of Irony in LA Opera's Final "Ring" Entry

Posted April 4, 2010 | 23:15:33 (EST)

When Achim Freyer and the Los Angeles Opera unveiled their final Ring entry, Götterdämmerung, or, as German-averse speakers call it, Twilight of the Gods, there was more than a hint of Wagner's capacity for irony. Yes, the mighty composer could not only see corruption trumping idealism but he could...

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UCLA Plays Host to Schubert and Ravel Extravaganzas

Posted March 25, 2010 | 21:22:56 (EST)

A sole singer -- make that acclaimed British tenor Ian Bostridge -- and his high-skill piano accompanist Julius Drake, performing Schubert's Winterreise were quite enough, on the bare stage at UCLA's Royce Hall, to create an epic drama in desolation, a 70-minute journey through the icy gloom of a young...

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'Ballet Is Woman' But Aha, the Men Revolt

Posted March 1, 2010 | 16:05:20 (EST)

So what was it that captured Southern California's dance buffs recently -- other than the Olympian figure skaters? Try a sub rosa contest between women in tulle tutus and men as fierce fugitives from all that feathery ephemera. But it looks like Balanchine had it right when he gave the...

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Cinderella as a Box Office Sweep for the Joffrey Ballet?

Posted February 4, 2010 | 11:19:51 (EST)

No matter how glorious the Joffrey Ballet's specialty - you know, as a repository for pop culture exercises like Tharp's Little Deuce Coupe and choreographic capstones from Paris of the 1920s-'30s like Balanchine's Apollo- the economic scramble is on, and even heavier these days. Measures must be taken.


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Maazel to the Podium -- Still Collecting Orchestras

Posted January 19, 2010 | 16:31:27 (EST)

Lorin Maazel, late of the New York Philharmonic -- where he drew both barbs and bravos from the critics -- strode vigorously across stage to the Disney Hall podium, telegraphing to the audience that this was no crochety 79-year-old maestro, but a commanding presence still, no matter which orchestra he...

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Doings at Disney Hall: A Tale of Two Orchestras

Posted December 9, 2009 | 11:09:46 (EST)

There he was, Sir Simon Rattle, fronting the fabled Berlin Philharmonic. Disney Hall rocked. And swayed. And, yes, rolled. As most of the planet's inhabitants know, there's no orchestra like this one. But just earlier, for several weeks, we heard the same rafters ringing as resident honcho Gustavo Dudamel and...

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Opera Review: Domingo Sings One More for the Road

Posted December 2, 2009 | 14:46:00 (EST)

Creatures of creative habit -- say, Placido Domingo, Woody Allen, Philip Roth -- do not let numbers stand in their way. How many opera roles? How many movies? How many novels? Could be, they're even consumed with self-competition.

Take the fabled tenor, for instance, who wouldn't dream...

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Flowers for Florez

Posted November 12, 2009 | 16:11:49 (EST)

That was no busboy at the Broad Stage - where most of Los Angeles's opera elite massed to the walls the other night. Yes, Juan Diego Florez may have looked like one in his black suit, boxy jacket buttoned to the neck, all emphasizing his slight frame. But, in fact,...

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Dudamel Begins New Era at L.A. Philharmonic

Posted October 9, 2009 | 19:57:54 (EST)

There was Van Cliburn in 1958, Lenny (Bernstein, of course) from the 60s til his death in 1990, and now it's the Venezuelan Wunderkind Gustavo Dudamel - a genuine phenom who is transcending the realm of classical music and crashing into the broad public consciousness.

You need proof?


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