Candid theatricality Candid theatricality

Out of sheer morbid curiosity last evening I pulled up the “orders” page of my Amazon account and searched Otello to discover that over the past 11 years. I’ve ordered 15 items with that title (one as recently as last night!)

on May 31, 2023 at 9:00 AM
Slow simmer Slow simmer

This was by far my most satisfying experience with Pelléas et Mélisande for a multitude of reasons and I encourage anyone who’s even mildly curious to find their way to the Music Center for a very rich experience.

on March 30, 2023 at 11:32 AM
A delicate balance A delicate balance

For anyone who thought that Downton Abbey, with its plot lines divided between the gentry and their faithful (or not-so) servants was somehow unique, that particular tale, and lo its many variations, has been told in one form or another since Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais put quill to paper in 1778 with La Folle Journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro.

on February 06, 2023 at 8:00 AM
Better off dead Better off dead

I have a horrible confession. I’ve always judged the quality of an opera largely on the number of dead characters at the finale.

on November 21, 2022 at 11:32 AM
Mountains of his words Mountains of his words

The audience greeted the opening night of Omar with more genuine enthusiasm than I have ever seen at Los Angeles Opera. 

on October 24, 2022 at 2:03 PM
No heather on the hill: ‘Lucia’ in LA No heather on the hill: ‘Lucia’ in LA

LA Opera sent out an email warning that the production “contains depictions of blood, violence, and drug use, as well as strobe lights and a gunshot effect in Act III.”

on September 19, 2022 at 11:20 AM
Somewhere in Egypt Somewhere in Egypt

We open in a war room that resembled nothing so much as a parking garage. Amneris’s boudoir was certainly recognizable as such but I’d be hard-pressed to pinpoint the location of the Triumphal Scene other than the inside of a large discothèque.

on May 23, 2022 at 2:59 PM
Camarena delivers Camarena delivers

From the multiple standing ovations, to say nothing of the gentleman in the front row waving the Mexican flag, I can safely say that a very good time was had by all.

on April 08, 2022 at 3:27 PM
Passion play Passion play

Los Angeles Opera’s St. Matthew Passion was by equal parts challenging and hypnotic to watch.

on March 16, 2022 at 12:30 PM
City of angels City of angels

In spite of the fact that Rossini and his librettist Jacopo Ferretti removed all the magical elements from the story, therefore making it far easier to produce, there was more than enough enchantment in the singing, and intermittently in the production to enjoy.

on November 30, 2021 at 10:24 AM
Witchy women Witchy women

You’d think after nearly 40 years of opera going I’d have seen almost everything.. .twice. Yet I found myself at LA Opera Tuesday night for a special presentation of George Frideric Handel’s Alcina which was my first live experience with one of his operas.

on November 04, 2021 at 1:56 PM
Do you believe in magic? Do you believe in magic?

Remember that time you went to the opera and the whole evening was like magic? Saturday night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion probably ranks among my greatest nights in the theater and I’m finding the superlatives in my thesaurus inadequate to the task.

on October 19, 2021 at 1:21 PM
Uncloistered Uncloistered

Let’s all cast our minds back to March of 2020. Or, better, let’s not.

on September 20, 2021 at 10:51 AM
Crossroads Crossroads

When LA Opera finally decided to put a toe in the water and mount its first production since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was Igor Stravinsky‘s opera/oratorio Oedipus Rex.

on June 21, 2021 at 1:02 PM
Magic Freyer Magic Freyer

I still remember, and some of it quite vividly, what it was like to experience Achim Freyer‘s intense and groundbreaking Ring production all these years later.

on July 22, 2020 at 10:01 AM
Roberto dangerously Roberto dangerously

For those of you keeping track at home that’s four substitutions for three roles and the curtain hasn’t even gone up yet.

on February 25, 2020 at 12:23 PM
Raising genius Raising genius

A special program note for Saturday night’s performance of Matthew Aucoin’s new opera Eurydice pointed to a rare convergence of three MacArthur Grant fellows in its creation and staging.

on February 03, 2020 at 9:16 AM
Strange magic Strange magic

We’ve had a mini-fest of director Barrie Kosky’s work this year at LA Opera.

on November 27, 2019 at 1:54 PM
Ray of ‘Light’ Ray of ‘Light’

An opera company presenting a Broadway musical that centers around a woman of a certain age travelling to Italy with her young daughter might seem more a vehicle for a great diva of a certain age.

on October 14, 2019 at 10:00 AM
If I had a photograph of you If I had a photograph of you

I’m certain I wasn’t the only one thrilled to bits to see LA Opera’s production of La Bohème finally retired after 26 years and seven mountings.

on September 29, 2019 at 1:26 PM
Carefully tautological Carefully tautological


on August 06, 2019 at 1:26 PM
Paris in the springtime Paris in the springtime

La Traviata offered a cast of fresh debutantes and an uncommonly strong musical performance that could hardly be bettered.

on June 04, 2019 at 9:36 AM
What the cat dragged in What the cat dragged in

As you can imagine, oaths are sworn, curses are flung with avidity, and a mysterious shepherd sings a tune of foreboding from a distant mountain gorge just when you’d expect it.

on May 07, 2019 at 1:44 PM
Take the long way Rome Take the long way Rome

Russell Thomas’s opening aria, “Del piu sublime soglio” displayed an intense attention to the text and some surprisingly beautiful piano phrasing that I’ve never heard risked before and it brought wonder and gooseflesh.

on March 05, 2019 at 11:40 AM