The music from Bartok’s opera Bluebeard’s Castle is entering the public domain—and so Tanztheater Wuppertal is reviving Pina Bausch’s “Bluebeard” for the first time since 1994.  (The New York Times,  1/15/20)

In memoriam: Harry Kupfer (1935–2019), “a towering figure in opera production with a career spanning 60 years.” (The New York Times, 1/3/20; The Guardian, 1/9/20)

Kudos to Heartbeat Opera in NYC for their new take on Der Freischütz: “A fantastic work about the end of the Thirty Years’ War, magic bullets, and winning women with violence has taken on, with remarkably little adaptation necessary, hot-button issues like gun culture, toxic masculinity and the plight of returning soldiers.”  (The New York Times, 11/28/19; The New York Times, 12/5/19)

“Strauss and Hofmannsthal operatically imagined in 1919 the possible relevance of a spiritually dedicated empress for the 20th century, her beauty embellished by harps and tuned to a solo violin in the key of E-flat.” You’ll want to see Die Frau ohne Schatten after reading this piece by Larry Wolff.  (The New York Times, 10/12/19)

The far-right AfD party is turning up the pressure on Germany’s theaters and opera houses. They’re hitting back forcefully, with action and satire.  (Financial Times, 8/26/19; The Atlantic, 10/28/19)

In praise of Richard Strauss’s Salome: “The score is at once staggeringly original, more than a little trashy, and unsettling in its sexual and racial politics. When the clarinet slithers up a disjointed scale at the outset of the piece, the curtain effectively goes up on twentieth-century music.”  (The New Yorker, 8/21/19)

The Magic Flute meets Weimar Berlin: “The sheer inventiveness of the staging, its fantastical mix of animation and live action, is hard to resist.”  (The New York Times, 7/18/19)

It’s time for that strange, centuries-old tradition of passing on the Iffland Ring to the “most worthy” actor who performs in German. The new recipient is Jens Harzer.  (The New York Times, 6/12/19)

There’s just a few days left to see Anna at London’s National Theatre. Set in 1968 East Berlin, Ella Hickson’s play asks its audience to put on headphones and “spy on the lives of a nation gripped by revolutionary promise.”  (The Guardian, 5/16/19; The Arts Desk, 5/22/19)