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Author Archive | Simon Chin

‘Anna Bolena’ at Washington National Opera by Simon Chin

The Washington National Opera’s season opened Saturday with a highly anticipated role debut. Celebrated Verdi specialist Sondra Radvanovsky, in a departure from her usual spinto repertory, took on the bel canto challenges of the title role in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. While short of an outright triumph, the occasion proved a successful one for the soprano, […]

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 Soloman Howard as the High Priest of Baal and Csilla Boross as Abigaille. Photo by Scott Suchman.

‘Nabucco’ at the Washington National Opera by Simon Chin

Verdi’s chorus “Va, pensiero,” from his early opera Nabucco, is a piece that lives on as much in Italian national mythology as in the opera house. Director Thaddeus Strassberger’s new production of Verdi’s biblical drama takes as its central question the meaning of the choral anthem that is now larger than the opera itself. The […]

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Anna Caterina Antonacci as Carmen in the Royal Opera's 2006 production. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

Anna Caterina Antonacci at The Kennedy Center by Simon Chin

If Anna Caterina Antonacci had taken a more conventional path, the Italian soprano would likely be enjoying the peak of a major international career. She possesses a remarkable vocal instrument, darkly rich in timbre yet crystalline in expression, and an electrifying stage presence. Yet while she has been rapturously received in Europe, her appearances across […]

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Robert Stanton as Charles Marsden and Francesca Faridany as Nina Leeds in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of 'Strange Interlude,' directed by Michael Kahn.' Photo by Scott Suchman.

‘Strange Interlude’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company by Simon Chin

Eugene O’Neill, as Stephen Sondheim has written, was an experimental playwright whose theatrical ambition soared far above his literary accomplishment, which often remained earthbound. Strange Interlude, O’Neill’s nine-act psychodrama from 1928, is no exception to this observation. It is a work of vaulting ambition, seeking to capture nothing less than Freudian psychological theory and Joycean […]

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Angela Gheorghiu. Photo by Cosmin Gogu.

‘Angela Gheorghiu’ at Washington National Opera by Simon Chin

Angela Gheorghiu almost lives up to the hype. At a time when many of opera’s reigning stars are relentlessly overpraised by the public relations machine, Gheorghiu represents the genuine article: a bona-fide diva with an unforgettable voice. In recent years, the temperamental Romanian soprano has made news more for her high-profile cancellations and tempestuous personal […]

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