What do you learn when you experience something for the first time and feel like you've been launched out of your seat on a rocket? Those are moments to be treasured. Late in 2015 (a year filled with artistic highs), two performances sent me through the ceiling when I least expected it.
If there's one thing Susan Stroman's new production of The Merry Widow at the Metropolitan Opera House isn't, it's merry. Sometimes frenetic, yes, but merry, no -- and in several ways that composer Franz Léhar might not have condoned.
So many questions about gender identity found a place in 2014's headlines that, as the world put last year to rest and got on with the business of 2015, I couldn't help but think back to a particular week last fall.
Victimized by bitter circumstance? Not on a bet. Bernstein's Candide showed up at the Hollywood Bowl in concert, courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Yes, it was almost the best of all possible worlds.