Archive | Opera Coverage

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Review: ‘Independence Eve’ at UrbanArias

The two men stand at opposite ends of an urban park, on a day that is a mere heartbeat away from the landmark midpoint in the calendar year. Summer and it is an evening to capture the heat that won’t last forever or take pleasure in the cool dappled shade of a leafy tree. It’s […]

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Mikhail Svetlov and Alexandra Batsios. Photo by Steven Pisano.

Review: ‘Golden Cockerel’ at New Opera NYC

Golden Cockerel (Coq d’Or) is a musical fantasy that was popular in the first half of the twentieth century but rarely seen since. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov composed it in 1907 with splashy orchestral colors — reminiscent of his Scheherazade — and that in itself would argue for its revival. The subject matter surprised me with its […]

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JoAna Rusche and Brett Pardue. Photo by Dan Valentino.

Review: ‘The Dollar Princess’ at Concert Operetta Theater

Leo Fall’s music is not likely to return to Broadway. It did, however, provide pleasant vocal opportunities for gifted young singers of the Concert Operetta Theater in Philadelphia this weekend, along with nostalgia for a way of life that vanished a century ago. The mundane sound of his name is misleading: Fall’s family was Moravian-Jewish […]

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Cio-Cio San as Butterfly. Photo courtesy of The Kennedy Center.

Review: ‘Madame Butterfly’ at The Kennedy Center

Gorgeous, ravishing arias by the legendary Puccini, an ethereally beautiful performance by Soprano Ermonela Jaho as Cio-Cio San (Butterfly), and an exceptionally ingenious concept and stage design by Production Designer Jun Kaneko are the primary glories of a stunning production of the beloved opera Madame Butterfly now being presented by the Washington National Opera at […]

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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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