Music Reviews

Starting the New Year with the Old Year

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic New Year’s resolutions are about looking ahead. But the new year is also a time to try and start out afresh. With that in mind, in this week’s column I catch up on some interesting events late last year which I was unable to review in a timely manner.(…)

Review: “Die Fledermaus”

Where: Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Dr. When: through Jan. 18 Phone: 312-332-2244 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic If you like to greet the new year with champagne and you love opera, you probably know that “Die Fledermaus” contains one of the most joyous musical tributes to champagne ever written. Lyric Opera is now(…)

“Parsifal” sets sights low

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic I’m sure there was a time when a “God is dead” approach to “Parsifal” would have been both shocking and fascinating. But it turns out you can’t kill God. Artists can’t, anyway. So the only way to go is to kill man. Not just a single hero. Not even(…)

Review: “Madama Butterfly”

Where: Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Drive When: Through Jan. 26 Phone: 312-332-2244 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Lyric Opera of Chicago has a new production of “Madama Butterfly.” It’s simple, it’s pretty and it’s effective. The sets and costumes by Christopher Oram and the stage direction by Louisa Muller (of a revival originally(…)

Review: Don’t look back

What: Chicago Opera Theater’s “Orpheus and Euridice” by Ricky Ian Gordon Where: Eckhart Park Pool, 1330 W. Chicago Ave. When: Through Nov. 10 Phone: 312-704-8414 Web: chicagooperatheater.org Call for ticket prices By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Greek myth isn’t what it used to be. And by that I don’t mean the stories have changed, only(…)

Verdi’s “Otello” hits all the right notes

Verdi’s “Otello” hits all the right notes

Where: Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Drive When: through Nov. 2 Phone: 1-312-332-2244 By M.L. Rantala Classical Music Critic Verdi’s “Otello” never fails to offer rich opportunities for artists who are both splendid singers and actors. Opening night at Lyric Opera of Chicago proved this to be true yet again, with a splendid cast and(…)

High concept production fails to catch on fire

Where: Harris Theater in Millenium Park When: through Sept. 29 Phone: 312-704-8414 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Opera’s bread and butter has always been the historical drama. Giuseppe Verdi, whose 200th birthday is now being celebrated throughout Chicago, certainly had an output that contains some notable historical operas — “Don Carlos” and “Attila” coming(…)

Review: “Fantasie Négre” at the South Shore Cultural Center

By M.L. Rantala Classical Music Critic The Chicago Music Association was created in March of 1919 to provide a performance venue for classically trained Black musicians who had traditionally been denied access to major concert halls and opera houses throughout the U.S. In July of the same year, musicians from Washington, D.C., met with members(…)