David Patrick Stearns is a classical music critic and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
How can something so easygoing excite such polarized reactions? Rossini's La Donna del Lago, the Metropolitan Opera's Saturday simulcast in six area theaters, has stars (Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez), attractive melodies, a plot line borrowed from Walter Scott (The Lady of the Lake) plus a theatrical and musical sheen at every turn.
'When all goes wrong . . . smile a lot." Such was the advice that conductor Scott Terrell gave to the everyday people who stepped up to lead a Philadelphia Orchestra contingent Monday at the Reading Terminal Market. Orchestra players have performed pop-ups from Macau to the Comcast Center, and Monday morning word went out on the Internet that this one would be a "Conduct Us" program, where listeners could become participants and get a souvenir baton.