Fool’s Gold

Fool’s Gold

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Composer John Adams and his librettist Peter Sellars immersed themselves in the vivid letters of a New England doctor’s wife who wrote about what she observed in the gold mining camps of the 1850s Sierras. She found...
The Ring in Vienna

The Ring in Vienna

Three days after the last rolling waves of the Rhine river had dissolved into thin air, the music stayed inside my body. All of the themes of Richard Wagner’s opulent masterpiece resound. They’ve seeped into me through the surge and flow of the four operas...
Dull Blade

Dull Blade

According to “director” Denis Villeneuve, in the year 2049 women will still be objectified as nubile, pliant toys for men. And men will still wonder why life has no meaning. An old trope—AIs searching for their own identity and searching for a way to...
taste of autumn

taste of autumn

Tomatoes, ripened on the vine—always a sign of the end of summer and the time to feel the approach of autumn. Some people look at a calendar to know when the seasons change. I have found that it’s not difficult to detect the exquisitely calibrated changes of...
Mother!: a Gothic parable

Mother!: a Gothic parable

Darren “Black Swan” Aronofsky’s latest metaphysical conceit, Mother!, may be many things, but a serious example of cinematic storytelling is not one of them. A showcase for the bovine beauty and monochromatic facial expressions of his current...