Archive | Opera Coverage

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Review: ‘Lucy’ at UrbanArias

As the PETA-hounded circus left town on its farewell tour, I headed to the Atlas Performing Center to see Lucy, an UrbanArias opera about an actual chimp. I was reassured to learn that no animals were harmed in the production. In fact, throughout the oddly enjoyable hour, the only primate onstage was a human—one whose […]

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Review: ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ at The Catholic University of America by Natalie Barsoum

Who would have thought that an evening of love, ambition, betrayal, violence, and death could be so enjoyable? That is precisely what last night’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor at The Catholic University of America was – enjoyable. Gaetano Donizetti’s macabre opera based on Sir Walter Scott’s novel, The Bride of Lammermoor (a twisted Romeo […]

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Review: ‘Madama Butterfly’ at Annapolis Opera

Annapolis Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts is a beautiful marriage of music and singing. Directed by Braxton Peters, with music conducted by Ronald J. Gretz, it brings together excellent staging, scenery, and lighting to highlight Puccini’s tragic classic tale. Eleni Calenos commands the stage as the title character, […]

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Review: ‘Champion’ at Washington National Opera

In the fascinating contemporary opera Champion, the external world of the often-violent sport of boxing and the inner turmoil of the self-loathing and self-denial of the lead character collide to produce a visceral and transformative opera about the power of self-acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption. Under the skillful Direction of James Robinson, the Washington National Opera […]

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Review: Beethoven’s ‘Leonore’ at Washington Concert Opera

Washington Concert Opera (WCO) concluded its 30th anniversary season with a rare performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Leonore on stage at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium (“Lisner”). Artistic Director & Conductor Antony Walker selected this original version of the 1805 opera. The overarching dark and somber tone of the work reflects Beethoven’s own failure […]

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Review: ‘La Périchole’ at Victorian Lyric Opera Company

The Victorian Lyric Opera Company’s (VLOC) staging of the operetta La Périchole was a testament to the idea that opera can be a light affair. Composed by 19th Century, Paris-based composer Jacques Offenbach, with a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, VLOC’s production is musically directed by Joseph Sorge, and directed by Madeleine Smith. La Périchole is the […]

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Review: ‘Dead Man Walking’ at Washington National Opera

It is certainly a “Dark Night of the Soul” (St. John of the Cross) for Sister Helen Prejean in the contemporary opera Dead Man Walking. A meditative, spiritually resonant study of our common humanity in the face of unspeakable horror is presented in this probing Washington National Opera production with absolutely stunning production values, vocalizing […]

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Review: ‘Famous Contemporaries: Music by Gliere, Medtner, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Tcherepnin’ at the Russian Chamber Art Society

As a novice opera aficionado, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Masterpieces of Russian Vocal Music: Famous Contemporaries, the Russian Chamber Art Society’s most recent offering at La Maison Francaise, the Embassy of France. This concert series is dedicated to Russian chamber vocal music, especially music rarely heard in the United States, and […]

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Review: ‘Tancredi’ at Opera Philadelphia

A company premiere and part of its Opera at the Academy series presented in the historic Academy of Music, Opera Philadelphia’s production of Tancredi, from Opéra de Lausanne and Teatro Municipal de Santiago, is at once grand and intimate, florid and quiet, updated but timeless. Based on Voltaire’s play Tancrède (and borrowings from Ludovico Ariosto’s […]

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Maryland Opera Studio to Premiere University of MD’s Opera Composition Contest Winner ‘The Young King’ on Friday, 2/10@7:30 PM at The Clarice

The first-year members of the Maryland Opera Studio present a semi-staged New Work Reading every year, but this year’s reading is unique. On February 10, the Maryland Opera Studio premieres the winning composition of the inaugural University of Maryland (UMD) Opera Composition Contest: Martin Hennessy and librettist Tom Rowan’s adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s short story The Young […]

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Review: Soprano Ailyn Pérez at The Barns at Wolf Trap

There’s no business like show business, but does that include opera? If in a few years people finally agree that opera is genuinely another form of musical theater, it may be because of the current career rocketship of American soprano Ailyn Pérez. Never mind her recent run as the star of the Metropolitan Opera’s uber-popular […]

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Review: ‘The Dictator’s Wife’ at Washington National Opera

A one-hour World Premiere opera is reason enough for the imagination to run rampant with artistic anticipation. So what a veritable array of riches it was to indulge the senses and challenge the mind with the Washington National Opera’s production of The Dictator’s Wife. This intriguing, topical and satiric piece of enigmatic yet trenchant opera […]

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Review: ‘The Rape of Lucretia’ by the Maryland Opera Studio at The Clarice

There’s a saying that says, “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia most definitely fulfills that second requirement. Based on the myth popularized by Roman historian Livy, among others, this 1946 chamber opera is challenging to watch. The Maryland Opera Studio, under the direction of Amanda Consol, gave […]

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Review #2: The Washington National Opera’s ‘The Daughter of the Regiment’ at The Kennedy Center (Cast #2: Sunday, 11/13/16)

Sometimes a relationship between a child and a parent is truly uplifting.  Multiply those emotions times twenty, and you experience the heartwarming plot of The Daughter of the Regiment. Broadway Director and Choreographer Robert Longbottom and Conductor Christopher Allen made their Washington National Opera debuts in a delightful and thoroughly enjoyable production. Feisty young Marie, […]

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Review #1: Washington National Opera’s ‘The Daughter of the Regiment’ (Opening Night Cast-11/12/16)

If your operatic desire is to hear one glorious aria after another sung by two operatic voices that would make the gods envious –set against a deliriously “light-as-air” comically sentimental soufflé of a libretto, immerse yourself in the Washington National Opera’s current production of Gaetano Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment. Written by Donizetti while […]

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