Midwinter marriage Midwinter marriage

Despite having lost its announced Cherubino, conductor and Count (the latter in the midst of rehearsals), the season premiere of Le Nozze di Figaro Saturday afternoon proved to be one of the most enjoyable Met Mozart performances I’ve attended in ages.

on January 11, 2022 at 10:27 AM
Any old palace Any old palace

At the heart of this success was Quinn Kelsey’s revelatory take on Rigoletto. He was matched, vocally and dramatically, by Rosa Feola’s Gilda—a tour-de-force performance.

on January 01, 2022 at 10:48 AM
Conversation piece Conversation piece

The sonic wizards of the Netherlands at Pentatone have released their latest in the series of Maestro Lawrence Foster’s studio opera recordings. Reunited with his Lisbon forces, the Gulbenkian Orquestra and Coro, for a fresh take on Puccini’s three-hanky weeper.

on December 29, 2021 at 1:04 PM
A Messy Little Christmas A Messy Little Christmas

Part vaudeville, part opera concert and part drag ball, Heartbeat Opera’s pageant was like a cup of eggnog spiked with a dash of LSD.

on December 25, 2021 at 10:00 AM
After midnight After midnight

The Met’s Cinderella is a charming adaptation of Massenet’s opera. Frothy, fun, and enchanting, it is a magical holiday treat for the whole family to enjoy.

on December 25, 2021 at 8:30 AM
Every little thing she does is magic Every little thing she does is magic

A good time seemed to be had by all though I don’t recall seeing a single child in attendance.

on December 20, 2021 at 9:56 AM
Everything new is old again Everything new is old again

I see in Kimberly Akimbo an audacious idea, once unthinkable territory for a musical, which is realized through a highly imaginative and often unpredictable use of song and especially open-ended ensemble writing.

on December 14, 2021 at 3:44 PM
Sorry/Ungrateful Sorry/Ungrateful

Katrina Lenk’s Bobbie dutifully channels an assertive, contemporary, sexually confident female persona, but it doesn’t feel fully realized or convincing.

on December 09, 2021 at 9:00 PM
A certain theatrical precision A certain theatrical precision

Sondra Radvanovsky was a force of nature as Tosca on Thursday night at the Met.

on December 04, 2021 at 9:59 AM
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
In my very own private hell In my very own private hell

No, we don’t really need another “Orpheus” opera. Or, rather, we don’t need this one.

on November 24, 2021 at 11:24 PM
The river of dreams The river of dreams

The opera utilizes the idea of “magical realism,” telling a realistic story combined with elements of magic and fantasy.

on November 24, 2021 at 6:10 PM
The second time around The second time around

While the formulaic nature of some of Rossini’s other operas can undermine his ability to balance bravura singing and playing with legitimate drama, a concert Maometto II proves, with what it offers as much as what it lacks, that the formula still works.

on November 24, 2021 at 9:32 AM
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
Not really about ‘La bohème’ Not really about ‘La bohème’

What is there to say about the Franco Zeffirelli Bohème? What is left to say?

on November 12, 2021 at 2:48 PM
It ain’t easy being tween It ain’t easy being tween

The purview of so much gay theater still focuses squarely on trauma—consider the recent Tony sweep of The Inheritance—that the story of a queeny pre-teen who loves Diana Ross and lives out loud unapologetically seemed like a welcome tonic.

on November 10, 2021 at 9:45 PM
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
Unequal tooning Unequal tooning

There is sensory overload, and very little humanity.

on November 09, 2021 at 1:51 PM
Open and clothes case Open and clothes case

From an exposure standpoint, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the best thing to happen to opera since Beverly Sills.

on November 08, 2021 at 12:21 PM
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
‘Morning’ is broken ‘Morning’ is broken

Morning Sun often feels as occluded and distancing as the austere, featureless set on which it’s performed.

on November 03, 2021 at 9:00 PM
The high and the mighty The high and the mighty

Last Wednesday the 92nd Street Y presented the friendliest-ever episode of American Gladiators when Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres continued their bel canto bromance with a delirious (almost) all-Rossini recital accompanied by Myra Huang.

on November 01, 2021 at 12:54 PM
Sachs appeal Sachs appeal

Last night’s cast of Die Meistersinger at the Met, dominated by the irascible, unbeatable duo of Michael Volle and Johannes Martin Kränzle as Sachs and Beckmesser, did much to enliven Otto Schenk’s creaky, nearly 30-year-old production.

on October 27, 2021 at 1:05 PM
A dream deferred A dream deferred

In an era when the Metropolitan Opera cannot cast an Aida, Trovatore or Forza consistently, New Amsterdam Opera managed to cast large, attractive and fully technically capable voices in all the cruelly demanding principal roles in I Vespri Siciliani!

on October 25, 2021 at 11:52 AM