Cher Public

Keeping the faith

Opera warhorse overload can happen to the best of us, and going into Washington National Opera’s final presentation of the season, Madama Butterfly, I feared that I might be geisha’d out. My most recent encounter just six months ago (a Vienna State Opera production with Kristine Opolais) was well done but left me thoroughly cold, a sign that a personal moratorium on this particular chestnut might be in order.  Read more »

Ring cycle

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 »

‘Dead Man,’ stumbling

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 »

Pyramid scheme

Isn’t it inspiring how deeply Francesca Zambello has sunk her tentacles into the heart of American opera?

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On topic

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.

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After the fall

Washington National Opera offered a shellshocked D.C. some much-needed diversion Saturday night, with a new production of La Fille du Regiment.

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And let the voice of Justice bring relief

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes her curtain call.

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Crazy stupid love

Well, that didn’t last long.

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A choice, not an ecosystem

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.

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That ’70s show

Washington National Opera followed up Monday’s lavishly praised Die Walküre with a Siegfried that, if not quite rising to the summit of the previous installment, delivered a musically committed and eminently watchable version of this complicated work.

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