The red attachment of women The red attachment of women

Washington National Opera’s final production of the season, seen May 22, is also its high point: a new Turandot directed by Francesca Zambello, updated to the 20th century and featuring the world premiere of a completion of Puccini’s score by composer Christopher Tin and playwright and screenwriter Susan Soon He Stanton.

on May 28, 2024 at 9:00 AM
Bird brain Bird brain

Opera at the Kennedy Center has been in hibernation this winter.

on March 13, 2024 at 10:09 AM
That which we call a Rosa That which we call a Rosa

Rosa Feola, hailed last year for her Gilda at the Met, brought a level of vocal refinement and elegance to Juliet that substantially elevated the night’s proceedings.

on November 07, 2023 at 9:00 AM
Soar, losers Soar, losers

Chopping up the action and dutifully showing each plot point may work in a film but in an opera, where every piece of marginal dialogue must be set to music, it feels like a chore.

on October 31, 2023 at 10:00 AM
Moody ‘Blue’ Moody ‘Blue’

Originally scheduled for a D.C. premiere in spring 2020 but thwarted by the pandemic, Washington National Opera was finally able to present composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tazewell Thompson’s Blue at the Kennedy Center last Saturday.

on March 16, 2023 at 11:47 AM
Last dance Last dance

If it is true that there are few respectable ways for people over 40 without small children to celebrate Halloween, a performance of Richard Strauss’ pioneering horror opera Elektra belongs on the short list.

on November 02, 2022 at 10:52 AM
Room temperature Room temperature

It’s maybe not a surprise that Carmen is neither a good vocal nor temperamental fit for Isabel Leonard.

on May 18, 2022 at 12:41 PM
‘Così,’ cheap ‘n cheerful ‘Così,’ cheap ‘n cheerful

In 2022, making Così fan tutte intimate is not a radical act. Making it enjoyable, however, is.

on March 21, 2022 at 10:11 AM
Group therapy Group therapy

As long as women have been preyed upon, Don Giovanni has been relevant.

on March 10, 2020 at 1:31 PM
This woman is dangerous This woman is dangerous

Renée Fleming—stylish dame with a stylish name—who lived by jungle law in a big city and clawed her way to where the money was…

on February 10, 2020 at 12:30 PM
General, not specific General, not specific

While Russell Thomas admirably goes toe to toe with Otello (and Otello) in a thoughtful and self-aware way, the assumption feels like a work in progress if not an outright mismatch with his vocal gifts.

on November 07, 2019 at 12:39 PM
“To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up” “To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up”

Tosca, as it exists now, can’t be real, spontaneous drama-it’s just Camp.

on June 03, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Turning over an old leaf Turning over an old leaf

Is there any opera that can take more of a beating while still making an impact than Eugene Onegin

on March 12, 2019 at 9:36 AM
Christmas past imperfect Christmas past imperfect

Give the creators credit for producing an emotional response.

on November 23, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Home run Home run

The Barber of Seville turned out to be the most overall solid production of the year and even a bit of old-fashioned fun.

on May 31, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Give ’em Hellman Give ’em Hellman

I mean, how often does one get to hear Bernstein’s gorgeous, rollicking, and varied score nursed by a full orchestra and the artistic resources of an opera company?

on May 21, 2018 at 9:21 AM
Family values Family values

A regular day in 2018 Washington, D.C., or Verdi’s Don Carlo?

on March 25, 2018 at 12:10 PM
Little house on the scary Little house on the scary

Out of a literal perforation in the horizon of the Nebraskan prairie emerges Proving Up, the most convincing case I have ever seen for modern American opera.

on January 22, 2018 at 12:21 PM
Tales of the Bavarian baloney pony Tales of the Bavarian baloney pony

In November, everyone wanted to hear more about Jonas Kaufmann‘s Johnson.

on December 01, 2017 at 9:15 AM
Girl power Girl power

Washington National Opera’s lukewarm Alcina, unthreateningly misguided in both its musical and theatrical values, made little impact.

on November 06, 2017 at 9:26 AM
Celeste graffiti Celeste graffiti

Aida certainly has its longueurs.

on September 11, 2017 at 9:30 AM
Keeping the faith Keeping the faith

Going into Washington National Opera’s final presentation of the season, Madama Butterfly, I feared that I might be geisha’d out.

on May 08, 2017 at 9:00 AM
Ring cycle 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.

on March 08, 2017 at 12:11 PM
‘Dead Man,’ stumbling ‘Dead Man,’ stumbling

The opera is relentlessly obvious, a work that repeatedly turns to tired tropes and canned characters to fill up its nearly three hour run time.

on February 28, 2017 at 9:00 AM