Sea surges and swells in ‘Sadko’ opera

Sadko 2SILVER SPRING – “The ocean foamed, and from the white billows rose the visage of the great King of the Sea, crowned in weeds of his watery kingdom,” writes the poet Heine. England, Greece, and even Germany (home to Heine) all have their great poetry of the sea. Such art of the maritime is presented in Russian music in Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera “Sadko,” performed at Silver Spring’s Randolph Road Theatre during performances in March.


The Gospel at Colonus' message of acceptance is timely in today’s political climate

Avant Bard 2018 The Gospel at Colonus 07ARLINGTON, VA – The Gospel at Colonus is onstage at the Gunston Arts Center in Arlington through March 25th and is the African-American inspired version of Sophocles’ tragedy, “Oedipus at Colonus.”

An Avant Bard production, the musical, a mixture of gospel revival, Greek tragedy, and soulful Motown revue, was a finalist for the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and won the 1984 Obie Award for Best Musical. In today’s political climate, with its anti-refugee policies, this 30-year-old's production is timely and relevant.

Directed and choreographed by Sandra L. Holloway, based on original direction by Jennifer Nelson, the show dramatically conjures up the pathos of Oedipus, the tragic king in Greek mythology who ruled over the city of Thebes.

The son of King Laius and Queen Jocasta, Oedipus unknowingly fulfills a prophecy by killing his father, marrying his mother and having four children with her. The result is disastrous for his city and family.


Don Carlo Staged at the Kennedy Center

Tenor Russell Thomas Don Carlo in WNOs Don Carlo credit Scott Suchman 2WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kennedy Center audiences currently have an opportunity to see "Don Carlo," an opera of Giuseppe Verdi, based on a play by Friedrich Schiller. This opera by Verdi is not often performed, and plays by Schiller - one of the great dramatists of the world theatre - are performed even less in the United States. Thus, this is a unique opportunity, an opportunity to which the Washington National Opera’s performance only does partial justice. That partial justice is the quality of the singing; the injustice is the quality of the staging, though, in one scene, the avant-garde staging brings about a keen awareness of an ethical problem in the work.    


Heather Raffo’s 'Noura' highlights refugee identity struggles

NOURA 0022 1WASHINGTON, D.C. – Heather Raffo’s “Noura” is on stage through March 11 at the Shakespeare Theatre in D.C., and is a take on Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” through the eyes of a family of three Christian Iraqi refugees.


An entertaining and accessible Merry Widow

MerryWidow4ROCKVILLE – “Girls! Girls! Girls!” We refer not to the title of the Elvis Presley movie, but quote an exclamation from the singing septet in the Victorian Lyric Opera Company’s highly accessible production of Franz Lehar’s century-old operetta The Merry Widow. The “merry widow” of the title is Hanna Glawari, a native of the impoverished, postage stamp-sized (and fictional) country of Pontevedra. Her elderly husband died and left her a fortune. Now she is about to marry a Frenchman, and this marriage is opposed by her countrymen: she is the only wealthy person in the country, and they fear the loss of her taxable assets. The lover of her youth, one Danilo, is now a diplomat in Pontevedra's embassy in Paris. Danilo is instructed to court Hanna with the intention of engagement and marriage in order to save his country from bankruptcy. Although he is still sincerely in love with her, she assumes he has only resumed his courtship because she is the very rich “merry widow.” It is a comic tale in which the pursuit of true love is juxtaposed with a love of convenience – and connivance.