Christian Ocier

Christian Ocier emerged fully formed one eros-filled evening from the nocturnal thrum of Tristan und Isolde’s Liebesnacht. During the Tag half of his life’s equation, he doubles as a pâtissier and a nanophotonic materials science Ph.D. student, a degree which he will soon complete at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Christian’s serious love for opera was sparked during his mid-teens after listening to Carlo Maria Giulini’s 5-Act Don Carlo. Eventually, his tastes gravitated to the dramas of Wagner, Strauss, Bartok, Janacek and Berg. To him few things make Nacht more transcendent than great performances of Tristan, Die Frau Ohne Schatten or Lulu—the trifecta of operas he adores the most. His tortes, entremets, and entrées honoring great musicians include La Stemme Divine (Nina Stemme), Le Grande Lise (Lise Davidsen), and Ravioli all’Ambrogio Maestri.

Anabaptism by fire Anabaptism by fire

As revivals of the composer’s sprawling works represent a daunting expense for many opera houses, exceptionally cast recordings of such concert performances serve as valuable documents that foster appreciation for his achievements.

on July 09, 2024 at 9:00 AM
Véronique, with fiery pride Véronique, with fiery pride

Witnessing William Christie guide his orchestra and singers was truly one of this performance’s greatest highlights.

on June 12, 2024 at 10:00 AM
Woman’s lib Woman’s lib

A work that skimps on profundity need not be devoid of entertainment value, and Madrid’s charismatic soloists and musicians more than capably deliver on this front.

on June 10, 2024 at 9:00 AM
Du weisst, wo du mich wiederfinden kannst! Du weisst, wo du mich wiederfinden kannst!

And what a luxury it is to experience this musically outstanding Parsifal with a cast of this caliber!

on March 28, 2024 at 9:00 AM
Color me impressed Color me impressed

Bay Area audiences starved for vocal fare during its opera’s winter/spring hiatus recently experienced two exceptional concerts with distinguished singing at the Davies Symphony Hall.

on March 12, 2024 at 9:00 AM
Distinctive and unreservedly commendable Distinctive and unreservedly commendable

My sole live encounter with Seiji Ozawa coincided with his final appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, where he conducted its 2008 revival of Tchaikovsky’s Pikovaya Dama.

on March 05, 2024 at 9:00 AM
Katya, later Katya, later

Leos Janácek’s rise to international prominence as a Titan of music was dovetailed by a cluster of profoundly original operas that were written during his extraordinary autumnal years.

on February 26, 2024 at 9:00 AM
Guardian of the temple Guardian of the temple

And what a sonically fascinating and vibrant Atys it is!

on February 02, 2024 at 9:00 AM
A woman scorned A woman scorned

Marc-Antoine Charpentier and Thomas Corneille’s Médée is a monument of the 17th century French baroque lyric tragedy.

on January 09, 2024 at 9:00 AM
Creature of the stage Creature of the stage

Nina Stemme’s program guided her audience through a period of musical history that explores themes of love and mortality with texts that traverse emotional extremes.

on May 12, 2023 at 9:00 AM
Natural woman Natural woman

Joyce DiDonato’s Eden immerses listeners within a centuries-spanning musical meditation that channels the majesty of our natural world.

on January 23, 2023 at 9:51 AM
An opalescent wonder An opalescent wonder

In a lovingly curated program of art songs, Ying Fang and the pianist Myra Huang presented pieces hailing from four different national traditions.

on December 14, 2022 at 9:29 AM
Meticulously shaped, beautifully tinted Meticulously shaped, beautifully tinted

Stefan Vinke brings to Tristan an indefatigable heldentenor of sturdy, muscular brilliance and a physical intensity that allowed him to fearlessly traverse this complex character’s broad emotional compass.

on October 17, 2022 at 12:26 PM
Let’s twist again Let’s twist again

In San Francisco Opera’s new Così fan tutte, the elements that most visibly read as “American” were a penchant for slapstick humor, overcooked blocking, and an abundance of cartoonish period costumes that hobbled the opera’s first act.

on November 23, 2021 at 9:21 AM
Tour de force Tour de force

In their realization of Alcina, Harry Bicket and his ensemble recreated a dramatically vivid and musically nuanced character study out of the opera’s central figures.

on November 09, 2021 at 2:34 PM
Listening to Bernard Haitink Listening to Bernard Haitink

In the month and a half leading to Bernard Haitink’s passing on October 21, my AirPods constantly channeled a musical festival of sorts centered on the Dutch giant’s expansive discography. 

on October 25, 2021 at 1:00 PM
I’ll have to say I love you in a song I’ll have to say I love you in a song

Starting March 19, Vocal Arts DC’s latest virtual concert lavishes listeners with a sumptuous recital of art songs from the Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen.

on March 19, 2021 at 9:30 AM
‘Tristan’ minus one ‘Tristan’ minus one

Imagine my surprise then when I discovered a new recording of Tristan und Isolde released by Navona Records, a small label based in New Hampshire that primarily focuses on recitals of chamber music, solo works, and smaller ensemble pieces.

on November 25, 2020 at 2:00 PM
Talking to Tanja Ariane Baumgartner Talking to Tanja Ariane Baumgartner

The first part of a chat with the dramatic mezzo-soprano.

on April 06, 2020 at 2:50 PM
Anna Bellezza Anna Bellezza

Anna Netrebko’s voice to me sounds like a very expensive chocolate covered strawberry.

on November 01, 2019 at 11:10 AM
Raspberry bouquet Raspberry bouquet

Lise Davidsen, who makes her role debut tonight as Leonore in Fidelio, is still very early in what appears to be a most promising career.

on October 25, 2019 at 2:36 PM
Ha! Diese Stemme! Seine Stemme! Ha! Diese Stemme! Seine Stemme!

When I think of Nina Stemme’s voice, I think of gianduja, Armagnac soaked dark cherries, and chestnuts.

on October 17, 2019 at 4:01 PM
Killer queen Killer queen

Rossini’s Semiramide is a highly original and imaginative work of theater that impresses for its creative and beautifully scored orchestration, incisive recitatives and ensembles, and theatrically intriguing characters.

on October 08, 2019 at 9:00 AM
“I am finding my way as I go” “I am finding my way as I go”

The musical director of the Opera Royal de Wallonie at Liege is currently experiencing the early phase of a promising international career in music.

on September 16, 2019 at 9:30 AM