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May 12, 2011

Washington National Opera offers 'Iphigenie en Tauride'

If you aren't in the habit of excavating the Sun's Web site, you may have missed this: my review of "Iphigenie en Tauride" at Washington National Opera. And we wouldn't want you to be out of that loop, would we?

I didn't expect to attend two productions of this masterwork by Gluck in the same season, both starring Placido Domingo.

I found the Metropolitan Opera's version to be quite compelling back in February; I found WNO's very different approach equally absorbing.

And in both cases, Domingo's singing proved remarkably satisfying. He really is an amazing artist. 

Like a lot of opera lovers, I spend a fair amount of time bemoaning the fact that we don't have as many fabulous singers as previous generations enjoyed. Then I remember Domingo.

End of lamentation. 

In my interview with the tenor earlier this month, he noted that Gluck was ripe for more attention.

"The public is very much in love with Handel now," Domingo said. "I think, little by little, it is going to be the same with Gluck." I hope he's right.

PHOTO (by Scott Suchman) COURTESY OF WNO

Posted by Tim Smith at 12:13 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Clef Notes, Opera

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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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