A Conversation About Reviews

Inspiration. Digital Art by Edward Kliszus
Inspiration. Digital Art by Edward Kliszus

A conversation about reviews begins with the consideration of a critic and author who is inspired by and appreciates the arts. Indeed, with a passion for theater, music, literature, cuisine, and travel, they approach each performance and event with an open heart and curious mind. Likewise, they nurture their knowledge of these art forms and unquestionably seek to explore new dimensions of each one. Listen to Claude Debussy’s Réverie performed by Rousseau as you begin to read.

Inspiration

Artists in all the arts seek inspiration, whether from nature, friends or lovers. Moreover, artists can discover fulfillment by sharing ideas from their imaginations with concrete products like sculpture, art, poetry, or music. Have you ever had a great idea you’d like to share with others? You can share with others what you imagine through a medium of the arts. The great Frédéric Chopin sought George Sand as his muse. Sand’s real name was Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin de Francueil. Best known by her pen name, George Sand was a French novelist, memoirist, and journalist. Listen to this inspiring performance by Lola Astanova of Chopin’s Fantasy Impromptu in C Sharp Minor, Op. 66.

The Muses

Many artists, however, seek the Muses from Greek mythology. Muses inspired artists to create poetry, music, dance, literature, and visual art. There were nine muses, and you may recall Calliope for epic poetry, Melpomene for tragedy, and Terpsichore for dance.  Artists invoked them to unlock creativity and overcome creative blocks. Through meditation, talent, or reflection, many artists believe that by connecting with the Muses, they tap into an infinite source of inspiration needed to create transcendent, enduring, and transformative works.
Unknown artist - based on the circa 1837 preliminary sketch of Eugene Delacroix's joint portrait of Frédéric Chopin and George Sand. Public Domain

Unknown artist – based on the circa 1837 preliminary sketch of Eugene Delacroix’s joint portrait of Frédéric Chopin and George Sand. Public Domain

Context

The critic’s dedication to research is important and includes considering the performers, the work to be presented, and the broader cultural context. Moreover, they understand the audience’s importance and the performance’s significance.

Evaluate Thoughtfully

The critic fully engages during a performance, taking notes and observing every minute detail. Secondly, they evaluate thoughtfully and examine technical skill, emotional depth, the artists’ ability to connect with the audience, and perhaps most importantly, the integrity of the artists. Similarly, the critic also considers the setting, acoustics, and audience demographics in their overall assessment of a performance.  

A Conversation about Reviews

After a performance, the critic reflects on their observations and strives to craft a comprehensive and insightful review that educates, informs, and inspires their readers. Therefore, the best critics create a conversation around the performance, honor the artists, and contribute to the broader discourse of the art form itself. Undeniably, a critic’s commitment to the arts can be truly inspirational. Opening Night Reviews readers may also be interested in Authors at Opening NightWelcome to Opening Night, and Rhythm in Music. Be sure to visit our friends at The Front Row Center and A Yorker’s Point of View.

A Conversation About Reviews

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