Philippa Kiraly has been a classical music critic for more than 30 years. She wrote for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio and, after moving to Seattle in 1991, for the Sun Press and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Nowadays she writes for The Sun Break blog, The Seattle Times and City Arts.

Recent Articles

Review

Seattle Opera’s Colorful Cinderella

It’s a child’s palette on stage at McCaw Hall for Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella). Think of a six-year-old with untrammeled imagination and a new box of crayons and you’ll have the production’s color chart. Hair, for instance, comes in...
Review

The Revenge of “The Bat”

The wonderful world of opera is available to most of us via radio or film for very little, but live performances are another matter. It can be extremely expensive to attend performances by national or international level opera companies, though in the...
Preview

An Opera for Our Time: ‘The Emperor of Atlantis’

It’s been variously described as a political satire, a parable of hope, a legend, an allegory and an elusive death-welcoming parable. Composer Viktor Ullmann’s and librettist Peter Kien’s opera, The Emperor of Atlantis, may be short, but it...
Q&A

Auburn Symphony, a South King County Treasure

Opening its 16th season Oct. 21, the Auburn Symphony Orchestra departs its usual format for a special concert, Music Especially for You, playing familiar favorites at the Auburn Performing Arts Center. Musicians and conductor are donating their...
Review

Cuban Musicians Return After 53 Years

It was truly a happening Friday night at Benaroya Hall. The long hallway was jammed before the concert, as was the lobby, and almost everyone spoke Spanish. The occasion was the first performance in this country since 1959 of a Cuban orchestra. Last...
Review

Gala Performance Lives Up to Its Name

The Seattle Symphony’s opening night concert and gala lived up to its billing, with a festive preconcert cocktail party, many of the attendees wearing full evening dress, and a delectable-looking post-concert formal dinner in the lobby. The core of...
Feature

Prima Donna

A young opera singer defies expectation with tough title roles. Standing alone as Puccini’s Turandot at Seattle Opera last month, dramatic soprano Marcy Stonikas lifted her voice to defend her habit of beheading her suitors. Stonikas’ robe was...
Review

Seattle Opera’s Spectacular, Splendiferous ‘Turandot’

You like spectacle? Go see Turandot. Interested in fashion design? Take your binoculars. Love superb singing? Go and enjoy this grand, elaborate spectacle of an opera with wonderful music, a tenor aria all the world recognizes, a fantastic story and...
Review

Fairies and Politicians, Anyone?

Every year, Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society outdoes itself. Each year, I think it can’t get better than this, and every year something new and delightful crops up. The current production of Iolanthe, which runs through July 28 at Bagley Wright...
Review

Symphony Music, NASA Images

The Seattle Symphony’s program of Holst’s The Planets with visuals from NASA is virtually sold out, all three nights. Should it be reprogrammed now for a year from now, I imagine it would immediately sell out again. I’d go again in a heartbeat...
Review

Pop Maestro Marvin Hamlisch

Pop maestro Marvin Hamlisch is one of those rare musicians who can marry classical music afficionados with popular music enthusiasts and make everybody happy, including the musicians. Back Thursday night for the first of five performances this...
Review

The psychological mindset of Bluebeard

Believe it or not, the macabre story of Bluebeard has its origins in fact. In the 15th century, a nasty piece of work called Gilles de Retz was on trial for his life. The French nobleman had turned to alchemy and sorcery after squandering his fortune...