Well Sung is a English-speaking blog specialized in the field of classical music and opera. As such, Well Sung is a qualified source of soClassiQ, like AfriClassical or ClassicsToday and many others. The oldest article indexed by soClassiQ is dated 2012-01-05. Since then, a total of 126 articles have been written and published by Well Sung.
Well Sung seems to be on pause right now, since no article has been published for 3 months. The last article in Well Sung, "Cantate Chamber Singers in Bethesda", is dated 2020-03-02.
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This editorial activity is slowing down compared to the previous period.
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Wrote about Cantate Chamber Singers' March concert for WCR: Victoria Gau, now halfway through her first season as music director of the Cantate Chamber Singers, led the chorus in a unique program interspersing (mostly) 20th century choral selections among the movements of Mozart’s Requiem, Sunday night at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church in Bethesda.
Thoughts on the Brentano String Quartet for WCR: Wolf Trap presented the Brentano String Quartet Friday night, with a thoughtful take on Beethoven anniversary year. The program was organized around Beethoven’s Op. 132 String Quartet in A minor, particularly its celebrated third movement.
Thoughts on WNO's 20 minute opera evening for WCR: The American Opera Initiative, Washington National Opera’s program devoted to developing new work, presented its annual set of 20-minute commissions Friday night at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre. While the results are frequently mixed, these evenings always offer a welcome opportunity to understand how composers of the moment are addressing familiar challenges.
Some quick reactions on Tristan Act II last night at the Kennedy Center… There was much to enjoy in this exploratory outing for Goerke’s Isolde, as well as some challenges. It was a real joy to hear her in a concert setting again for the first time in a while. She may not bowl you over with volume in a huge opera house, but in a (slightly) smaller hall you can really appreciate the full heft of her sound. The true excitement here, as is appropriate, was in Isolde’s pealing high music. Goerke’s distinctive quick vibrato continues to differentiate her in Wagner's big moments, bringing a soft, plush texture that is a great vehicle for emotional communication. There was something of a warm up period here, where the sound was confident but a bit on the dry side. But that resolved itself and by the time the meat of […]
Quick thoughts on WNO's new Don Giovanni last night... I walked into this show erroneously assuming WNO was bringing back the very successful production from ~2010 or so but this an entirely new (and somewhat less successful) joint. For some reason this new production sets the action in a hyper-modern that looks a bit like a law firm lobby, while keeping the costumes in the standard vaguely 18th century feudal aesthetic. It's not terrible, just somewhat puzzling. Why not just put everyone in modern dress? The key directorial intervention is a series of ghostly female figures in white that represent Don Giovanni's victims, appearing at various points throughout the show and ultimately acting as the avenging spirits dragging DG down to hell. This seems perfectly fair, if not especially unexpected or particularly inventive in light of the topical #metoo frame being added to Don Giovannis far and wide these days. […]
Quick thoughts on Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Don Giovanni (the performance on Saturday November 30th) which impressed with overall high musical values and a first rate cast but was also just a little bit boring. Lyric deserves props for assembling a really tremendous cast here, each of the principals formidable rising or recently established important exponents of these roles on the stage today. In this heady company, Rachel Willis Sorenson’s Donna Anna stood out among the women, her ample, steely soprano a great vehicle for a relentlessly anxious, broken Donna Anna. Ying Fang has a gorgeous sound, a bright soubrette timbre but with healthy weight behind it, which she used in service of a particularly beautifully sung Zerlina. I’m not sure if she really got to a place that was more than (very) pretty, though. This was truly about as good as one could hope for as far as beautifully […]
I wrote about Washington Concert Opera's Hamlet for Parterre: Ambroise Thomas’ Hamlet isn’t the rarity it once was, with a handful of notable productions in recent years, including the Met in 2010 and here at Washington National Opera in the same year, featuring Elizabeths Bishop and Futral, plus Sam Ramey (!) as Claudius. (I’ve been thinking this decade went by quickly but maybe not?) Read the whole thing here...
My take on the NSO's premiere of Kevin Puts' "The Brightness of Light" with Renee Fleming and Rod Gilfry on Washington Classical Review: On the heels of their big Wagner outing, the National Symphony Orchestra and music director Gianandrea Noseda offered another ambitious vocal program Thursday evening at Kennedy Center: the Washington premiere of a new NSO co-commission by composer Kevin Puts, with soprano Renée Fleming in a starring role. Read the rest...
Late 20th century nights at the Met feel like some kind of temporary truce between New York’s warring artistic factions. And so it was for the premiere of Philip Glass’ 1985 opera “Akhnaten” Friday night, which found the hip and (often though certainly not all) under 60 crowd improbably slumming it on the Upper West Side to honor the original downtown master finally seeing this landmark 35 year old work getting some recognition uptown. Akhnaten is the third opera in the “Portrait Trilogy” along with Satyagraha and Einstein on the Beach, but in format and musical language Akhnaten and Satyagraha are really a pair relative to the far more avant garde experimentation in Einstein. Glass’ subject here is the Egyptian pharaoh Akhnaten, who, according to the scraps of evidence that survive, briefly overthrew Egypt’s polytheistic religion for monotheism. As with Satyagraha, Glass sets evocative pieces of text that broadly […]
I reviewed Christian Gerhaher's all-Mahler recital for Washington Classical Review: Longtime collaborators baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber returned to Washington Friday night to continue the survey of the songs of Gustav Mahler they began here two years ago at the University of District Columbia. Mahler’s songs have many lives, whether in the various piano and orchestra arrangements provided by the composer himself, or immortalized as material for his symphonies. Given Gerhaher and Huber’s reputation for exceedingly sensitive, thoughtful readings of the lieder repertoire, this recital promised a view of these works at their most sparing and intimate. Read more...