Magical Marinka sparkles at Berlin’s Komische Oper 

In the fifth consecutive annual re-creation of Hungarian composer Emmerich (Imre) Kálmán’s lesser-known works — he’s most known for his operettas “Countess Maritza” and “The Circus Princess” — Berlin’s Komische Oper prepared a dazzling iteration of “Marinka,” a show he wrote in 1945 for the American Broadway theatre. It was a musical homage to Vienna and Budapest, ostensibly set in 1889, but delightfully updated to the 20th century. For this presentation on Dec. 18 in … Continue reading

Will There Still Be Singing? A Hanns Eisler Cabaret

At a time in history when the subject of the day is exile, American soprano Karyn Levitt has chosen a worthy example to build a one-woman cabaret show around. On October 15, in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Room, she presented her musical valentine for Hanns Eisler, the Astro-German composer who was a contemporary of Kurt Weill. With her colleagues pianist Eric Ostling, accordionist William Schimmel, and guitarist Ira Siegel, Levitt sang a collection of Eisler’s art and theatre … Continue reading


Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto is no ordinary gallery experience, by any stretch. I saw it on a friend’s recommendation, on a short trip to Berlin. Berlin being, well, Berlin, the trip was a frantic whirlwind of awesome, so the gallery visit was squeezed into the final day. From the moment of entry, it became apparent that trying to rush this one was a HUGE MISTAKE. Entering through black curtains into a completely dark room, a large screen shows a … Continue reading