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Donald Palumbo

First Nighter: DiDonato, Brownlee Lift Heavy 'La Donna del Lago' at the Met

David Finkle | Posted 12.14.2015 | Arts
David Finkle

Since opera is first and foremost about the music -- and that certainly applies to Gioachino Rossini as much as or more than many composers -- it frequently means that the quality of any given production is secondary. Sometimes, however, that doesn't obtain.

First Nighter: The Death of Klinghoffer on and Off Stage at the Met

David Finkle | Posted 12.21.2014 | Arts
David Finkle

White-hot controversy is dogging the opera's Metropolitan Opera House premier engagement after many productions elsewhere, only some of them protested. The circumstances have, not surprisingly, clouded the reality of the Adams-Goodman work.

First Nighter: Met's Second Cast Eugene Onegin Has Chekhovian Flair

David Finkle | Posted 01.24.2014 | Arts
David Finkle

The new cast of Eugene Onegin, the season opener at the Met, has weighed in. Turns out -- hooray! -- they're a troupe of heavyweights, especially as conducted by debuting Alexander Vedernikov, who appears to have Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky deeply embedded in his DNA.

First Nighter: Nico Muhly's "Two Boys" Proves One Plus One Equals Disappointment

David Finkle | Posted 12.22.2013 | Arts
David Finkle

The thing I'm bursting to tell you immediately about Two Boys is that Anne Strawson (Alice Coote), the detective inspector at the center of it, is about as dumb a cop as you'd hope to avoid on a case where you've been victimized.