Thanks for scaring

Lyric Opera Unlimited, the education and outreach program of Lyric Opera of Chicago, has done our fair city a great favor by producing Fellow Travelers, the new Gregory SpearsGreg Pierce opera commissioned by the Cincinnati Opera in 2016. I caught the last of four performances on Sunday afternoon in the beautiful, old 984-seat Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago. I found the performance intellectually and politically riveting, musically thrilling, and profoundly moving. It was a triumph.  Read more »

Less than hero

“Venti turbini,” which should end the first act in a blaze of determined coloratura, lacked the needed razzle-dazzle.

Harry Bicket and his English Concert returned Sunday afternoon to Rinaldo for the sixth annual installment of their survey at Carnegie Hall of Handel’s operas and oratorios. Unfortunately the composer’s breakout London hit of 1711 proved one of the series’s weakest efforts so far in part due to a cruelly miscast Iestyn Davies in the crucial title role.  Read more »

Family values

An insecure leader hounded by hubris, his repressed, suppressed, and far-from-home younger wife, his tormented son whose own political life is hounded romance and tense alliances, a dangerously seductive third party set on bringing them all down, and a mysterious, threatening governing body that seems to be pulling the strings on the whole thing; a regular day in 2018 Washington, D.C., or Verdi’s Don CarloRead more »

King of the Neapolitan road

At Palermo’s Teatro Massimo, Zerline, the heroine of Auber’s once beloved Fra Diavolo , undresses down to frilly French skivvies.

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Morning glory

Wedlock, betrayal, sibling rivalry, feminism, and union strikes give the opera Morning Star much of its driving thematic material.

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Italian dressing

Lucia di Lammermoor, a bloody story of a young woman’s mental degeneracy amidst feuding families, remains Donizetti’s most popular exploration of the landscape and culture of Britain.

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Wall to wall

Thursday evening Piramo e Tisbe demonstrated that its assembled forces were the little opera theatre of ny that could.

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Down in the depths

If opera as a genre in justified in its claim to one particular story, history confirms that the Orpheus myth would be that story.

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The help

As Despina in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Così fan tutte, Kelli O’Hara injects much needed vitality into an otherwise lethargic evening.

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The production is at all times visually arresting, but it’s also extremely distracting.

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