Die Meistersinger is a bold stroke of programming, in a not particularly exciting way. Attrition is practically guaranteed, the title role is endless and unglamorous, and then there is the matter of its noteworthy fandom. San Francisco Opera largely justified its inclusion in its 2015-16 season–the work’s first appearance at the War Morial in nearly fifteen years. Read more »
Absent from Chicago Lyric Opera’s repertory for 21 years, Alban Berg’s Wozzeck came roaring into town on Sunday afternoon in a stunning new production by Sir David McVicar, featuring a uniformly excellent cast of singing actors. Performed without intermission, the production maintained a remarkable pace and kept the tension level high for one hundred minutes, after which the audience burst into an ovation of pent-up emotion. Read more »
“This throwback to the golden age of opera—superhuman singing greeted with frenzied ovations—was a function of a perfect storm of excitement: a performance of Verdi’s 1853 spellbinder to rank with one’s rosiest recollections of past glories, in combination with a poignant human story that left both cast and audience dissolved in tears.” [New York Observer]
The Metropolitan Opera’s much vaunted so-called “Tudor Ring” of three royal operas by Donizetti got off to a bumpy start Saturday afternoon with a revival of Anna Bolena that stubbornly refused to cohere either musically or dramatically.
It is easy to become overly identified with opera—as a cleverer friend of mine once noted: being a sports fan is an interest, but if you like opera, everyone thinks of it as a crippling obsession.
The next scheduled appearance of the Met’s Ring production has been canceled, as irrevocably as these things can ever be.
Giulio Cesare at the Met proved an evening that added up to much more than the sum of its uneven parts.
True, Joyce DiDonato’s Mary spat out those fighting words in a tangy chest voice, but it was hard to believe she meant them.
It’s easiest to write reviews when there are soaring triumphs and miserable failures.