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May 20, 2010

Teaser review: Washington National Opera's "Hamlet"

I still have to finish writing some other stuff for the paper (I'm ever so slightly past that deadline) before I can start on my review of Washington National Opera's production of "Hamlet," which opened last night. In the meantime, let me pass along this advice right now:

Don't get thee to a nunnery -- just get thee to the box office. Trust me. You don't want to miss this.

I'll have a full report as soon as I can. And, in case you missed it, here's my preview article from Sunday's paper.

Posted by Tim Smith at 8:52 AM | | Comments (1)


saw it on opening night, it was a revelation! am going back on Monday to hear Liam Bonner's take on the role. We remember his comic turns for the Wolf Trap opera several years ago; Hamlet is a little different, but I'm sure Bonner is up to it.

Futral is good as always; but we're disappointed that Damrau didn't make it. Maybe she should learn about birth control? Placido, bring Damrau at the next opportunity, please. Tell her you will provide babysitting...
Ramey. not so good nowadays... but only compared to what he once was.. but hey, aren't we all getting older?

Older, yes. Which is probably why I still haven't managed to finish my real review. But I'll have it online before too much longer. Thanks for sharing your reactions. TIM

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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