San Francisco Opera has announced plans to commission a new work by Mark Adamo for a scheduled premiere in 2013. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, in Mark’s words, “draws on the Gnostic gospels, the canonical gospels and fifty years of new Biblical scholarship to reimagine the loves and conflicts of the New Testament through the eyes of its leading female character.” […]
This past Sunday was a date I’d been anticipating for months. As part of the City Arts and Lectures series here in San Francisco, Stephen Sondheim sat down with Frank Rich for a thoroughly spontaneous and entertaining hour-and-a-half discussion.
Now, I’ve read and heard so many interviews and similar Sondheim talks over the years, so there was very little new information for me, but this is my first opportunity to sit through one in person. Sondheim was upbeat, forthcoming and very funny; a true mensh. […]
It is well known among Sondheim kooks such as myself that Stephen Sondheim’s favorite among his own songs is “Someone in a Tree” from the 1976 musical Pacific Overtures. I love this song too, but it’s never been clear to me exactly why it stands out in particular for Sondheim. […]
Why am I so uninterested in the new Sweeney Todd movie? It’s as much a surprise to me as it is to anyone who knows me. I remember being excited about it about 15 years ago when there began to be noise about a Tim Burton adaptation, but in recent years I’ve lost interest.
The original stage version of Sweeney Todd is a masterpiece, and I’ve written before about how my first exposure to it put me on the path toward being a composer. Over many years I’ve studied the score so thoroughly and seen so many productions, some good and some bad, that I don’t think I can ever get excited about it again. It’s not just this film adaptation I’m down on; I’m normally loathe to go and see new stage productions as well. It’s also not that I don’t think the original 1979 Harold Prince production can’t be improved upon, but that happens so rarely. […]
Throughout the year I’ve been occasionally posting recordings of songs from my earlier musical The Ghost of Wu. Today’s installment is the song “You Must Learn”, in which an ambitious mother lectures her naïve daughter, a concubine, in the ways of the Emperor’s court.
This song is probably the […]