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Joseph Campana

Arts/Entertainment

Joseph Campana is a poet, arts writer, and scholar. He is the author of a collection of poems, The Book of Faces, and has received grants from the NEA and the Houston Arts Alliance. You can find his poems, essays, and reviews of books, dance, theater, and visual arts writing in Slate, Poetry, Guernica, Dance International, Culture Vulture, Explore Dance, BigRed&Shiny, and the Kenyon Review. He teaches at Rice University. He teaches Renaissance literature and creative writing at Rice University.    

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The Fault Of Our Stars

Houston Ballet reaches for the heavens but falls to earth in star-crossed performance

By Joseph Campana

People look to the stars for cosmic secrets or the key to human nature. Recent downpours make Houstonians look up with worry, not wonder, at the heavens. So a night ...


The Review Is In

Sondheim music remains glorious, but HGO's production of Sweeney Todd is half-baked

By Joseph Campana

Sweeney Todd has the perfect recipe for success. Start with an unjust judge and a betrayed barber who thirsts for revenge. Stir in sophisticated composition and scintillating lyrics by Stephen ...


Opera Preview

A heavenly Ring: The story of opera's most famous 8 minutes is told in HGO's Die Walküre

By Joseph Campana

Die Walküre may clock in at nearly five hours but it takes only eight minutes to find heaven. Houston Grand Opera continues this week Fura dels Baus’ ambitious production ...


Get Arsty

A new Romeo and Juliet: World premiere presents plenty of star-crossed challenges for Houston Ballet

By Joseph Campana

What’s in a name? Many ballets go by the name Romeo and Juliet. Some are even called Juliet and Romeo, if you’re Mats Ek, Radio and Juliet if ...


The Review Is In

Where's the magic? Stellar singing can't redeem HGO's mundane Magic Flute

By Joseph Campana

Everyone wants to be over the moon. When the iconic Queen of the Night, in Houston Grand Opera’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, appeared beneath a large ...


Talk Opera To Me

The scariest Christmas Carol of all? Scrooge becomes an opera star (no really)

By Joseph Campana

What’s Christmas without Scrooge? It seems the holidays just wouldn’t be the holidays without a buzz-kill raining down gloom and doom. For some of us, that’s a ...


Wife Swap

Love sextet? Everybody wins in swingers hoax that's an operatic masterpiece — laughs included

By Joseph Campana

What do two sisters, two lovers, a maid and an old philosopher know about love? Belt it out: Three is never a crowd; love requires at least a sextet. Or ...


Talk Opera To Me

A haunting ending gives Houston Grand Opera the chance for a spectacular 60th beginning

By Joseph Campana

A great end makes for a great beginning. Giuseppe Verdi ended his illustrious career with defining adaptations of Shakespeare’s Othello and The Merry Wives of Windsor, and it is ...


On Pointe

Dangerous comedy: Houston Ballet's bold German Shakespeare proves love is no happy picnic

By Joseph Campana

What does it take to make a dream? The “seething brains” of lunatics, lovers, and poets, if you ask Shakespeare. For Houston Ballet, it’s another trio: A Midsummer Night ...


Talk Opera To Me

Seductive Carmen ensures Houston Grand Opera closes on an ultra sexy note

By Joseph Campana

Early in Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold, Albrecht makes a choice: Love or power. He can only make the magic ring from the Rheinmaidens’ gold if he swears off romance ...


Talk Opera To Me

Putting a Ring on it elevates Houston Grand Opera to new heights — and accomplishes a great dare

By Joseph Campana

There’s only one Ring — Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, a mammoth endeavor comprised of four operas for which Wagner crafted both music and librettos over 26 years ...


Talk Opera To Me

The highlight of the season: A Coffin In Egypt pushes Houston Grand Opera in a bold, new direction

By Joseph Campana

Whether it hails from ancient Egypt or Egypt, Texas, A Coffin in Egypt is anything but old news. Houston Grand Opera's 52nd world premiere, composed by Ricky Ian Gordon ...


Talk Opera To Me

Opera inspired by one of Hollywood's greatest stars gets a Houston moment: How about A Little Night Music?

By Joseph Campana

Stephen Sondheim gave a nod to Mozart when he titled A Little Night Music. But it's clear he had Ingmar Bergman on the brain. Where would Sondheim have been ...


Talk Opera To Me

Brutal sex, evil clowns and a vicious curse: It's just another night at Houston Grand Opera

By Joseph Campana

Clowns, jesters and fools: Why do these figures of theatrical tomfoolery turn tragic? It may be some weeks before the Houston Grand Opera is ready to "Send in the Clowns ...


Talk Opera To Me

Controversial Holocaust guard opera sets sail in Houston: Are you on board?

By Joseph Campana

Passengers above, prisoners below. With such a simple structure Houston Grand Opera opens a new year with Mieczysław Weinberg's haunting The Passenger, which runs from Saturday through February 2 ...


Talk Opera To Me

Lessons from a farce: Houston Grand Opera's Die Fledermaus looks to restore the genre's good name

By Joseph Campana

It's been a hard month for the farce. Not once but twice President Obama launched this term at Republicans as he railed against the 16-day government shutdown, the third ...


Opera Time

In love with death: Houston Grand Opera's suffocating Aida spares no one, pulls off all-time great exit

By Joseph Campana

The opening of an opera season is the time to make a great entrance. But sometimes we remember best the drama of a great exit. Take Giuseppe Verdi's ever-popular ...


The Review is In

Frenzied bodies: Daring and provocative dance takes over in Houston Ballet season opener

By Joseph Campana

What's in a name? "Four Premieres" may be an accurate title for Houston Ballet's season opener, which runs through Sept. 15 at Wortham Theater Center, but the program ...


The Review is In

Real magic: Houston Ballet and Trey McIntyre put the wonder back into Peter Pan

By Joseph Campana

Fuzzy bunnies, padded booster seats, a stack of copies of Angelina Ballerina and a pirate hat: It's another night at Houston Ballet. But not just any night. The ballet ...


The Review is in

Revenge trumps love in compelling Houston Grand Opera production of Il Trovatore

By Joseph Campana

Is it not one of the great ironies of tragic opera that everyone should be in such good voice as disaster engulfs all? I found myself thinking this on the ...


All articles by this author.  166 Results. Showing 1 to 20
Page 1 of 9