Donna Perlmutter page at LA Observed

Donna Perlmutter, formerly the chief music/dance critic of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner under Jim Bellows, is an ASCAP-Award winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and many other publications. She is also the author of “Shadowplay: The Life of Antony Tudor.” Email

Love in the time of Coronavirus. Love in the time of Presidential elections.
LA's own Michael Tilson Thomas just became a Kennedy Center honoree in the most vibrant profile of the entire televised celebration, and is very visible these days at Disney Hall.
Some recent performances on the LA stage.
Jessye Norman, Martin Bernheimer, Plácido Domingo and more.
Donna Perlmutter: It was balletic and beyond. Bodies speaking with eloquence. All of it gorgeous.
A ballet movie, an opera and lots more going on around town.
Our world can seem more simplistic and superficial, but not if you seek refuge in the right places.
Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella' is the choreographer's show-dance extravaganza that everyone must see.
As a finale to the packed LA Philharmonic centennial, Zubin Mehta and other celebrated virtuosos of an earlier era came to Disney Hall.
Observing and enjoying some downtown shows.
Verdi's words remain relevant in these political times. Plus: Refik Anadol's electronic kaleidoscope of Philharmonic moments.
Intimate big-screen close-ups and high-tech sonics at the Bowl, courtesy of the LA Philharmonic. Or the old-time glory of glittering Russian ballet downtown at the Chandler Pavilion.
Just how many hats can an unencumbered contender wear? Ask Matthew Aucoin, for his answer.
Performances from Tilson Thomas, Dudamel, LA Dance Project and more.
Donna Perlmutter: Also "Fantastic Woman" on screen, "Betroffenheit" at the Broad Stage and Beethoven with the LA Phil.
Donna Perlmutter: We're in the throes of celebrating what would be the 100th birthday of America's most famous music man, Leonard Bernstein.
The LA Phil's Noon to Midnight festival brought a new crowd to classical music in LA. More from Donna Perlmutter.
In case you thought that we, in headline-exploding Hollywood, suffer a paucity of music performances, think again.
It was just a matter of time. When would Matthew Bourne attempt to cross Niagara on a wire?
Will the real Tchaikovsky please stand up? The one who wrote transcendent music that stormed the heavens.
Yuja Wang is that singular pianist. Plus Bartok and Schubert, and choreographer Matthew Bourne
Finding a nugget of gold just may be worth a whole, long dig. But trust me, it wasn't easy to spot in the case of LA Opera's "Tosca."
Right now Los Angeles looks like the new center of vocal arts, with Plácido Domingo as its long-time major benefactor.
Deborah Borda heading back to to New York is big but not the only move being talked about.
if you were lucky enough to hear Schnittke's "Not a Summer Night's Dream" from the LA Philharmonic, led dazzlingly by Gustavo Dudamel, it had to grab you.
If we're lucky UCLA's Royce Hall will stage an encore of "Letter to a Man." And more.
Donna Perlmutter celebrates the fall season in LA classical music and arts.
What do women want? Power. That's what Shakespeare said.
Nowhere -- not at Boston's Tanglewood in the Berkshires, or New York's Lewisohn Stadium, or Chicago's Ravinia -- is there such a summer symphony spot as Hollywood Bowl.
It was only a matter of time. Inevitably, Gustavo Dudamel would cross the street from Disney Hall to the Music Center and oblige Plácido Domingo at his domain.
Donna Perlmutter sees some opera and Daniel Ezralow's latest at the Wallis.
What they do for Disney and for world music.
If you didn't get to see the latest 'Candide' you missed something good.
Big-time events closed out the year in the performing arts realm downtown and on the Westside, hitting every category and then some.
Into the future and back to the past with some recent dance and opera.
Marathons, hallmarks and icons -- are they the trick to boost ticket sales?
Terrifically rewarding. You can run downtown through Oct. 3 to see for yourself.
Watching Mirga, Yuja, and other young symphonic star-gazers.
Russian Boris Eifman brings story-book ballets that are not about fairytale creatures or kingdoms and their royalty, but about real people drowning in human tragedies.
Donna Perlmutter sees Igor Levit, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Ballet Jazz Montréal and the Brentano String Quartet.
Figaro is not just the rapscallion servant who turns out to be an aristocrat, kidnapped at birth. He occupies the center of LA Opera's festival these two months.
The LA Philharmonic and LA Opera are going head to head with major contemporary works at the same time.
Shades of LA's celebrated avant-garde past lit up the new-music present at Santa Monica's 1st Presbyterian Church. Plus more.
Donna Perlmutter's year-end roundup of some of the notable performances she saw in 2014.
After roughly 15 years of wandering in the theatrical desert, Mikhail Baryshnikov has finally found the most deserving spotlight of his post-dancing career.
Critic Donna Perlmutter attends "Bluebeard's Castle" and "Dido and Aeneas" at the Music Center and LA Dance Project works at the Ace Hotel.
The Australian Ballet provided plenty of entertainment, but the "white" scenes were not so white. Our critic, however, was "gobsmacked" by the LA Phil's Mahler.
Verdi's "La Traviata" can withstand almost anything. It's nearly indestructible, and sometimes irresistible.
It's time to add Gustavo Dudamel to the opera conductor pantheon, writes Donna Perlmutter after catching a performance at the Hollywood Bowl.
With each season Preljocaj produces a more elaborate but less interesting series of superficial vignettes that settle on acrobatics (not dance) and that show off bodies and focus on fetishes fit for Vegas.
The Phil has done it again -- mounted a compelling "Così" that changes the atmospherics from rococo farce to today's social currency. Plus 'Thäis' and 'Streetcar.'
So what do starry eminences decide when the time comes to hang it up? Leave the stage? Not Flicka. Not Misha.
Donna Perlmutter finds lively fare from Kronos Quartet, LA Chamber Orchestra and LA Ballet.
Donna Perlmutter puts out the call to LA Opera and the Philharmonic -- in rare events both. As for Benjamin Millepied's dance project at the Ace Hotel, it "registered weakly if at all."
Donna Perlmutter on some recent dance and music performances in Los Angeles.
Humor comes to our downtown stages in two shows brimming with imagination: a "Magic Flute" that breaks the antique Mozartian mold and Matthew Bourne's hip "Sleeping Beauty" powered by a testosteronic high.
An illustrious opening of a Beverly Hills performing arts complex, the Annenberg Wallis. A nod to cultural icon Martha Graham. Also to Giuseppe Verdi, with his delectable last opera, "Falstaff."
Donna Perlmutter's dance report from the landmark "Einstein on the Beach," or Frank Zappa's finally-mounted "200 Motels," Nederlands Danse Theater and Body Traffic.
Disney Hall celebrated its 10th anniversary without so much as one official standing on stage to bestow thanks to long lists of benefactors or indulge in blandishments and platitudes.
Big, bright screens deliver them to us in a dimension not possible in the concert hall. We get to see the music as well as hear it.
Big is the word to describe the city's summer scene — with the LA Philharmonic decamping to Hollywood Bowl and the whole humongous American Ballet Theatre occupying downtown's Music Center recently.
in a single weekend we saw LA Opera's "Tosca" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, "Dulce Rosa" at Santa Monica's Broad Stage, and most stunningly sophisticated of all, Christopher Alden's staging of "Le nozze di Figaro" with Gustavo Dudamel helming his Mozart-sized band in a makeshift semi-pit at Disney Hall.
When the LA Philharmonic programmed two stellar women as headliners -- conductor Susanna Mälkki together with violin virtuosa Leila Josefowicz -- I said to myself: no male domination here. Plus: Trisha Brown at UCLA and Angela Gheorghiu at the Broad Stage.
At last, a "Flying Dutchman" without irrelevant whimsy or silly symbolism or egotistical re-writing. And not even one tomato thrown. The LA Opera let Wagner be Wagner.
The Joffrey brings 'Sacre' back to Los Angeles, plus observations of Midori, Meredith Monk and Helmuth Rilling.
LA Opera, Barbara Cook, Esa-Pekka Salonen back at the Disney Hall podium and Hamlet at the Broad Stage.
Disney Hall is not just alive with music these days -- it's throbbing with dance. For their kick-off gala, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic enlisted American Ballet Theatre stars and stage-worthy others as the featured attraction.
Placido Domingo gave his first absolute powerhouse performance as a baritone, but the production of Don Giovanni looked burned out and Benjamin Millepied's LA Dance Project offered little to remember.
The 25-year-old pianist is the hottest example of what our screen-crazed world has produced. The Hollywood Bowl, with its big screens, could not be a more perfect place to advertise her extra-musical charms.
A posse of arts-elite collaborators led by Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic put on a new, fanciful, hyper-stylized production of "Don Giovanni," while across the street the LA Opera trotted out its old Herb Ross staging of "La Bohème," both houses doing bang-up box office at the same time. Not bad at all.
Back in the day, before his curly top turned white, Simon Rattle was an enormously gifted principal guest conductor of the LA Philharmonic. That was an earlier golden era — well before this one headed by the spirited, infectious Gustavo Dudamel. We cannot forget any of those from the '80s.
There's no mistaking Misha: the ever-chic haircut, the stern expression peering out from a face that now has added lines and deep crevices, the allure of an icon.
"Swan Lake" is popping up on stages around the area, and the Los Angeles Ballet now has the chops to pull it off.
Twice a year, she takes a Beverly Hills excursion into that luxe emporium. Not to be buy, but to be awed.
The physical distance between Northridge and Hollywood and Vine might seem daunting, but an adventurer could make both.
So begins the Los Angeles Opera's seasonal salvo: with the profound Russian melancholy of Tchaikovsky and the antic comeuppance of Mozart.
The L. A. Philharmonic waxed luminous and guest conductor Leonard Slatkin found kindred musician spirits to commune with.
The faithful trekked up to Cahuenga Pass, with their picnic baskets, to inaugurate the summer season at Hollywood Bowl, and yes it was splashy.
The old avant-garde and the ever-new Baroque. Both brought their signature wares to town, to profoundly different effect.
There's the world, says choreographer Barak Marshall, with all its social inequities, hard-scrabble struggles and heartless contradictions. And then there's a person's heritage.

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