David Patrick Stearns is a classical music critic and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Conductor David Charles Abell is far too urbane to be a musical Santa Claus at the Philly Pops Christmas Spectacular, now running at the Kimmel Center. But pops, classical, and theater music are all of a piece in the life of this 56-year-old conductor who grew up in Mount Airy, graduated from Germantown Friends School ('76), studied with Leonard Bernstein, and is based in London, where he conducts an array of concerts and West End shows.
How funny can anyone really expect opera to be? Intentionally funny, that is. Supposed comic masterpieces such as Falstaff and Die Meistersinger basically offer levity. Italian opera buffa gets laughs when singers behave with unexpected silliness. So we won't hold it against Curtis Opera Theatre that its production of Rossini's La