Alex Baker lives in Washington, DC, where he enjoys attending a variety of classical music events. After college in New York he started attending the Met on a regular basis and blogging about his experiences at wellsung.blogspot.com. Current singers he would travel for include Christine Goerke and Karita Mattila, while historical favorites include Tatiana Troyanos and Astrid Varnay.
While even committed opera enthusiasts can find Beethoven’s Fidelio a chore, a hardy few wonder why we can’t have more Fidelio. Washington Concert Opera maestro had these completists in mind last weekend with a presentation of the original 1805 version of Fidelio, aka Leonore, oder Der Triumph der ehelichen Liebe. Read more »
Washington National Opera continued a focus on recent works this season with Terence Blanchard and Michael Cristofer’s 2013 opera Champion on the life of boxer Emile Griffith. Though many of the stumbling blocks one might expect are no doubt present in this first attempt at an opera from Blanchard, there is also much to appreciate in this ambitious work. Read more »
In the program notes to Washington National Opera’s new production of Dead Man Walking, composer Jake Heggie notes that the premiere of a new opera was a “rare occasion” in 2000, when this piece first appeared in San Francisco. Since then, it has flourished in a way few contemporary operas have, garnering nearly 300 performances across the globe. But having finally seen it this past Saturday in DC, I’m afraid this work’s popularity may be a result of first-mover advantage more than anything else. Read more »
Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative, now in its 5th year, keeps the opera flame alight at the Kennedy Center during the long winter stretch between mainstage WNO productions.
Operatic history can be cruel where multiple works with the same subject are concerned
Washington National Opera offered a shellshocked D.C. some much-needed diversion Saturday night, with a new production of La Fille du Regiment.
The good news is that the first concert was devoted to the exceptional artistry of Lawrence Brownlee.
Washington National Opera’s first Ring Cycle came to a bittersweet conclusion this past Sunday, closing the door on an extraordinary three weeks in the opera house and a remarkable musical and theatrical achievement for the company.