• The Met Turns 50 - Part 1
  • Celebrations evoking remembrance say a lot about us. We tend to use the decimal system and its major divisions to encourage reassessment in terms of looking back and connecting it to today.
  • The Met Turns 50 - Part 2
  • I was not present for the opening of Philharmonic Hall in 1962—I was seventeen—but I did attend performances during its first season.
  • The Met Turns 50 - Part 3 (Finale)
  • That’s what it was like — and perhaps still is: a delicious, venomous trashing of a serious and magnificent achievement that was not perfect by any means but was also profoundly memorable — so much so that just hearing an archival recording of that opening fanfare 50 years later brings it all back to me.
  • Ted Cruz and The Wagnerian Pause
  • ...it is up to the maestro to determine how far to stretch nothingness— maintaining the music’s tension but without losing control of the public’s attention.
  • Lauren Bacall too...
  • Inadvertent angels come in many sizes and shapes. They are not always angels of mercy, and -- as many can attest -- Lauren Bacall was no Mother Teresa. And yet there was at least one lesson to be learned from knowing her a little.
  • Elaine Stritch, Carlo Bergonzi, Mary Rodgers and Lorin Maazel - Part 1
  • Within the past month we have read with sadness of the deaths of four important artists who seemingly have little in common: composer and author Mary Rodgers Guettel, internationally famous American conductor Lorin Maazel, Broadway and cabaret star Elaine Stritch, and the legendary operatic tenor Carlo Bergonzi.
  • The Inconvenient Music -- Invisible and Unhearable
  • On Friday morning, April 25, 2014, World War II was everywhere to be found in the arts section of our essential paper of record, The New York Times. A revived revival of Cabaret with old chum Alan Cumming gave us two armpits-full of Berlin in the run-up to the war...
  • Music and Trauma
  • On January 23, 2014, we learned of the death of Riz Ortolani, a composer whose name was unknown to me. He composed film scores-and who knows what other music he left behind? Most people in America do know one song: "More," otherwise known as the "Theme from Mondo Cane" --...
  • Classical Music 101: Epilogue
  • Before investigating the apparent disappearing audiences for classical music, we might attempt to assess the 20th century itself when it comes to classical music. Having spent the last 20 years of that century encountering composers and connections, I never knew anything about --even though I had committed my life to...
  • Classical Music 101b: There's Nothing to Worry About
  • The question that remains, and which I shall attempt to answer, is "What happened to classical music?"
    That is both easy and hard to explain. The easy part is that the great traditions of Western classical music continued throughout the 20th century and seemingly will as long as music is...
  • Classical Music 101a:Why There's Nothing to Worry About
  • I want to offer a few general thoughts about music - what we call classical music and what it actually is - free of politics and free of esthetic evaluations--and the latter frequently acting as a mask for the former.
  • Wagner, Texas and Myth
  • There's a new production of Wagner's mega-operatic cycle, The Ring of the Nibelungs, opening this week at the Wagner Festival in the small town of Bayreuth where Wagner was given the land and the monies to build his dream theater and his home by the incredibly generous and possibly unhinged...
  • Century-ism a Century Later
  • Perhaps you have noticed that 2013 is the centenary of the premiere of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Next year there will be much thought given to the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.
  • Oklahoma!@70!
  • Tonight, as I write this, I am thinking of an event that took place 70 year ago right now. People were slowly wandering in to the St. James Theater. As Agnes DeMille remembered, "The audience was a regular Theatre Guild opening night: spotty, dull, jaded. I had eight front row...
  • Verdi by the Numbers
  • A small blip in the history of opera occurred this week in Bilbao, Spain. It occurred a few seconds after the curtain came down on the dress rehearsal of Verdi's 1855 French opera, les Vêpres siciliennes. The invited audience was cheering the singers, the orchestra, and the chorus.
  • Merry Christmas, Walt!
  • Merry Christmas, Walt!
    During this Christmas Season, I could not help but notice that The New York Times' default metaphor for anything a critic finds objectionable in the arts is none other than Walt Disney. It is as if Uncle Walt was the anti-Christ of Art.
  • Who's Your Favorite Living Composer?
  • Who's your favorite living composer?
    That seemed to be a fairly innocuous question, posed two weeks ago to a group of high school music students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts over lunch in the cafeteria. The question was prompted by a high school senior's description...
  • Music and the DNA of War
  • New York's 2012-2013 classical music season got off to its official start recently with three concerts. Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic performed a program that included the Schoenberg "Piano Concerto," and Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony performed Carl Orff's Carmina Burana on one program and a second...
  • What's Killing Opera?
  • In a purposely-provocative piece in the New York Times ("How Hollywood Villains Are Killing Opera" -- August 17, 2011) Zachary Woolfe writes passionately about the doldrums in which opera finds itself these days in America. Mr. Woolfe should probably extend that geographical embrace to the world. While America...

Articles written by John Mauceri for the Huffington Post.