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Rodney Punt
Rodney Punt writes commentary on music and theater for San Francisco Classical Voice, Classical Voice North America and Huffington Post. He publishes and contributes to LA Opus, a blog for classical music writers based in Southern California. He is a member of the the Music Critics Association of North America and is a credentialed journalist with the L.A. Press Club.

As an arts manager for three decades, Punt served as Deputy Director and Historic Preservation Officer for the Los Angeles City Cultural Affairs Department (arts grants, music broadcasts, theater operations, art center instruction, gallery exhibitions, international exchanges, and monuments restoration), and was its founding Acting Director. Prior to that he was in academic administration at the USC School of Performing Arts (music, cinema, drama, community schools, KUSC-FM, ISOMATA) where he helped establish the Arnold Schoenberg Institute. Punt received his BA from UCSB (economics, music) and his MBA from UCLA (arts management).

Entries by Rodney Punt

More War? The Persians at Getty Villa Gives Fair Warning

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 5:17 PM


Despite the attempts of sane minds to stem the destructiveness of war, its eons-long sway, arising from human greed or grievance, seems to be eternal.

The oldest surviving play in western civilization, Aeschylus' The Persians, clocking in at just shy of 2,500 years,...

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Still Edgy After All These Years: Jacaranda Music's First Decade

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 7:08 PM


Listening to Jacaranda Music's last concert of its eleventh season, two opposing thoughts struck me. One was astonishment that its first decade (the anniversary was last October) had flown by so quickly and the other was amazement that the series hasn't always been...

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From the Score to the Stage: Opera Behind the Scenes

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 4:04 PM


In an era when opera's standard repertory has coalesced around a few famous composers -- Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Wagner, and a handful of others -- it is the stage productions that differentiate one Traviata or Boheme or Carmen from another. Name directors like...

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Brian Asawa Premieres Erickson's Four Arab Love Songs

(2) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 12:59 PM


As one of the world's preeminent countertenors, Brian Asawa has been a fixture on the opera circuit for two-decades. The Los Angeles native's career had jump-started as the first countertenor to become the Grand Prize Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National...

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Einstein on the Beach in Los Angeles

(2) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 5:07 PM


Einstein on the Beach arrived at Los Angeles's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion last week like a beatific visitation from another realm. With its creative team reunited for what is likely their last artistic tweaking of the iconic work, the production was an authentic, if slightly...

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Santa Fe Opera's Beguiling Season

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 1:10 PM


The Santa Fe Opera's top laurels for the 2013 season were not necessarily won by its most anticipated productions. Of the five works staged, three were fashioned around star singers -- a world premiere tragedy, an Offenbach farce and a rarely performed...

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Rapture, Blister, Burn Smolders at Geffen Playhouse

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2013 | 12:19 PM


Rapture, Blister, Burn, at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, is a clever, gentle-hearted take on feminism today by playwright Gina Gionfriddo. Its charming if artificially crafted plot examines the lives of four women (in three generations) who bond while the younger three...

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Santa Fe Opera Premieres an Oscar Missing His Wilde Side

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 3:21 PM


Like the unwieldy storm clouds that had gathered and burst overhead all week, the July 27 premiere of Oscar at the Santa Fe Opera aimed for catharsis. With its stellar cast, elaborate sets and massive orchestra, Theodore Morrison's opera, based on the...

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Turning Pages Long Ago for Pianist Samuel Sanders

(4) Comments | Posted July 25, 2013 | 3:30 PM

Art song, in the tradition of European cultivation that began at the end of the 18th century, involves an intimate interaction between a singer and a pianist. The singer may depict many an imaginary role on stage, but the pianist must be grounded in reality to monitor his singer even...

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Ding, Dong! DOMA's Dead: Love Is Sweeping the Country

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 3:51 PM

The Supreme Court struck down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and upheld a lower court's dismissal of California's Proposition 8, which prevented same-sex marriage in that state. Let's celebrate the validation of civil rights with a song written over 80 years ago but still relevant today.

"Love Is Sweeping...

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Ojai Music Festival 2013: Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance!

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2013 | 3:31 PM

ojai music festival

The undertow of somberness in the last two Ojai Music Festivals was banished for the 67th version of the venerable yet ever-renewing series on June 6 to 9. Credit for breaking the spell goes to exuberant dance maven Mark Morris. The famed...

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LA Opera's 'Dulce Rosa' to Open at The Broad Stage

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 2:22 PM


Operas and movies are like opposites that attract but can rarely live together. New movies, like old operas, get the big houses. New operas, like old movies, get the small houses. Got that?

The LA Opera did, and has turned the pattern to their...

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Santa Fe Opera to Present New Opera About Oscar Wilde

(3) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 7:28 AM

2013-04-26-oscarwilde.jpgThe historic path to equality for gays and lesbians is strewn with victims of injustice. One of the most egregious examples was the fate of Oscar Wilde, the sparkling genius of late Victorian English theater, whose career was initially charmed but later cursed...

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Wallfisch Violin Concerto Premiered by LACO and Stanislav

(4) Comments | Posted December 6, 2012 | 5:28 PM


The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra sported something of a British accent at its latest mid-November outing. Premiered was a new violin concerto by the English-born, and until recently London-based, composer Benjamin Wallfisch, who also conducted the program. LACO commissioned the concerto for Tereza Stanislav,...

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Madame Butterfly at LA Opera: Toned Down and Tuned Up

(6) Comments | Posted December 5, 2012 | 10:02 AM


Though Puccini's Madame Butterfly is the most performed and popular work in LA Opera's 27-year history, it is never guaranteed a sure-fire production. Contemporary stagings must straddle potential minefields: depicting cross-cultural encounters without succumbing to kitschy stereotypes and addressing modern skepticism of...

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Songs From America's West at the Autry National Center

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2012 | 4:32 PM


The old saying goes, when you play a country song backwards you get BACK your pick-up truck, your job, your dog and your girlfriend. Which tells us how tediously self-pitying country songs can be when they are played forward. But a precaution is...

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LACO Refracts a Mozart Concerto With Timothy Andres

(1) Comments | Posted April 10, 2012 | 10:23 AM

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra concert of March 25 promised a world premiere of a new work by a hot young composer. Also a familiar concerto and symphony by Mozart. More than the new work, however, it was the radical makeover of a classic that garnered the evening's attention.


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World Premiere of American Spring by Stephen Cohn at Shumei Hall

(5) Comments | Posted April 9, 2012 | 9:46 AM

On the far eastern fringes of Pasadena's Colorado Boulevard, beyond trendy Old Town and past the impressively façaded walls of Pasadena Community College, noteworthy buildings give way to modest shops and restaurants catering mostly to locals. In this leafy, low-key neighborhood, one doesn't expect an encounter with the handsome modern...

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The Brandenburgs Are Their Brand: LACO's Six Concertos Of J.S. Bach

(4) Comments | Posted November 17, 2011 | 4:10 PM

2011-11-16-Young_Bach2.jpgJohann Sebastian Bach compiled what are today called the Brandenburg Concertos as showpieces and probable calling cards for employment with the Margrave of Brandenburg. The provincial Saxon Kapellmeister put everything he knew of musical brilliance into their design, borrowing from and enhancing his...

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Griselda in Peter Sellars Production at Santa Fe Opera

(1) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 5:31 PM


Director Peter Sellars has forged a strong reputation for envisioning contemporary operas and rethinking classic ones. Of present day fare, John Adams' Nixon in China, in both its original and revived versions, may be the most iconic. Notable among the classics are the Mozart-Da...

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