Culture Magazine

One Louder: 2011--The Year in Reviews

By Superconductor @ppelkonen
We look back at 2011, the year that turned it up.

One Louder: 2011--The Year in Reviews

Like Nigel Tufnel's amplifier, this was a year that went over the edge.
Image from This is Spinal Tap © 1982 Embassy Pictures.

We're at the end of another year here at Superconductor. There were a total of 467 posts (or an approximate average of one and a half articles a day.) Not bad when your ambition is to write publish and edit a daily blog. More are coming.
There were also posts that had little to do with reality: a privilege of being one's own editor.
  • Dragons being paid to live on top of the Metropolitan Opera house.
  • The New York City Opera's plan to bring their art to a Brooklyn water treatment plant
  • A Live-at-Occupy-Wall-Street performance of Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat. (That one was real.)
So we're going to use this opportunity to look back (mostly fondly) at a very busy year. It started a New Year's Day review of Palestrina, and will (eventually) include this week's forthcoming reviews in the grand total.
The guide is in four sections:
Opera Reviews: I went to the opera 69 times, if you count a few live telecasts and broadcasts. Includes Strauss, Rossini, but surprisingly, no Wagner. Eleven reviews of great performances from different companies, with honorable mentions at the end.
Concerts and Recitals:  Attended 95 of these this year. A recount of the eleven best experiences to be had sitting in a concert hall and not fidgeting. Features piano recitals and orchestral concerts in four different cities.
Recordings and DVDs: The recording industry is not dead. It's just changing shape, with the best opera recordings coming out on home video long before they're released on CD, and whole symphony boxed sets repackaged as dime-store downloads.
The Worst of 2011:  Our chamber of horrors. This year, instead of rehashing lousy performances, this section focuses on backstage drama and news coverage of a very strange year. Includes tales of injured conductors, on- and offstage drama, and the journey into the infinite undertaken by the New York City Opera. Plus singers falling off of stage sets.

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