Matthew Gurewitsch
Matthew Gurewitsch
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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Netrebko's first Tosca
The last word (for now anyway) on a big night at the Met

June 9, 2018

Ah! finalmente! With Anna Netrebko in another triumphant role debut, the jinx that has long hung over Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera lifted, at least for a few hours. For once, even the critics' attention was squarely on the plight of the diva, rather than on the inadequacies, real or imagined, of the mise en scène.

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Yuval Sharon's multimedia Mahler
Das Lied von der Erde at the Los Angeles Philharmonic

June 7, 2018  •  Oper! Das Magazin (Germany), June 2018

"The wine is beckoning in the golden goblet," the tenor roared, dwarfed by a towering goblet, which instantly started to tip. "But don't drink yet!," he cried, arresting the incipient spill in mid air, "first I will sing you a song!" Thus, at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mahler's symphonic song cycle Das Lied von der Erde began, in action that was as hyperrealistic and at the same time totally alien in a way perhaps only hallucinations and multimedia can be. Imagine Don Quixote before the windmill. Imagine Moses commanding the Red Sea. The opening montage jolted the audience to attention like a clap of thunder. Some listeners laughed out loud with sheer delight.

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Tell us what you really think
How bad a boy was George Antheil?

June 5, 2018

On general principle, I would rather describe music than judge it, leaving readers to sort out for themselves what's up their alley. That said, it's no good to write in riddles. A reader who found my recent comment on George Antheil unenlightening has inquired whether I liked "Valses from Specter of the Rose."

On air, I spelled out that I did, though the music wasn't necessarily what I had been bracing for. In my recap, I wrote: "A notorious avant garde 'bad boy' channels Ravel without in the least scaring the horses."

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Catching up with Deborah Voigt
Yes, there is life after Götterdämmerung

June 5, 2018  •  Oper! Das Magazin (Germany), June 2018

Three years ago, the dramatic soprano Deborah Voigt was contemplating her future. "I thought I might continue singing for another five or six years," she recalls, speaking by mobile phone as she cruises down the California coast on scenic Highway 101. "But I was beginning to feel overwhelmed by my career. I knew my time at the Met was coming to an end. And suddenly, here was this offer."

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Bumper crop in brief
A recap of Catch of the Day, chapters 33 and 34

June 4, 2018

On June 3, we made up for missed programs with a two-hour special dedicated to my niece, Annie Walton-Teter, recovering from a boating accident that could well have proved fatal. A heartfelt mahalo to the Coast Guard crew who last weekend effected a heroic rescue at night in high seas, 70 miles off the California coast. For heart-stopping video from the chopper, follow this link.


The following notes cover two weeks' worth of "Catch of the Day." As regulars know, we air on the first and last Sundays of each month, skipping the weeks in between. From here on, I'll be batching recaps of adjacent shows, in omega-alpha order.


Tracks caught on May 27

"Tzigane," Maurice Ravel.

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Books by Matthew Gurewitsch

Cover of Rafal Olbinski Women Cover of When Stars Blow Out

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