Tag Archives | Francesca Zambello

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Review: ‘Aida’ at Washington National Opera

Eternal, romantic love conquers all — even a jealous rival — in Verdi’s ravishingly melodic Aida, now being presented by the Washington National Opera with splendid work from all involved. Verdi’s soaring yet sensitive music pervades this production and is the prime reason for attending; indeed, the interpretation of this glorious music by the cast […]

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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: ‘The Ring Cycle’: ‘Twilight of the Gods –The Ring of the Nibelung –Part Three’ at Washington National Opera

Mother Earth is crying in despair and degradation in Director Francesca Zambella’s audaciously brilliant interpretation of the final opera of Wagner’s artistically magnificent Ring Cycle—Twilight of the Gods –The Ring of the Nibelung–Part Three. The Washington National Opera has “pulled out all the stops” in a synergistic production that integrates the music and words of Wagner […]

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Review: ‘The Ring Cycle’: ‘The Valkyrie –The Ring of the Nibelung-Part One’ at Washington National Opera

Love in all of its many manifestations runs rampant throughout the Washington National Opera’s most recent offering in the continuing tale of The Ring Cycle—-namely, The Valkyrie –The Ring of the Nibelung –Part One. The incestuous and romantic love of Sieglinde (Meagan Miller) and Siegmund (Christopher Ventris) is conveyed with ravishing music and dramatic passion. The […]

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‘Dangereuse’: ‘Appomattox’ at The Kennedy Center by Sophia Howes (Review #2)

In the wake of Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement, it is the perfect time for an opera which tells the truth about race in America—Appomattox. Philip Glass, the internationally acclaimed composer, and Christopher Hampton, the British Academy Award-winning writer, have created a complex, substantive and deeply fulfilling work, which showcases the best and […]

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A Q&A with Mezzo-Soprano Magdalena Wór on Her Training in Washington and Return This Weekend to Strathmore

Mezzo-soprano Magdalena Wór pretty much creates an unforgettable impression everywhere she performs. Her strikingly rich voice – it’s been called “plush,” “chocolatey” and other adjectives redolent of red-wine reviews – stands out from the crowd of rising opera singers. And she doesn’t need a full opera staging to demonstrate stage presence. Even after straight concerts, […]

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‘The Flying Dutchman’ (‘Der Fliegende Holländer’) at Washington National Opera

The Washington National Opera takes to the seas for Richard Wagner’s first major work, The Flying Dutchman (Der Fliegende Holländer). WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello has staged a series of his operas to prepare for the WNO’s first complete Ring cycle next season. The 2015-2016 season has just been announced. This production, a WNO revival, is heavy on symbolism and big sound […]

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‘Dialogues of the Carmelites’ at Washington National Opera

A penetrating and extremely lucid psychological austerity permeates the current production of the Washington National Opera’s (WNO) Dialogues of the Carmelites by composer and librettist Francis Poulenc (after a play by composer Georges Bernanos). This most modern of operas (in sensibility —for the opera takes place in 1789 to 1794) presents universal and ever-constant traditional […]

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‘Penny’ at Washington National Opera

The world premier for the Washington National Opera’s newest American Opera Initiative takes a new look at the power of music in the touching, engrossing drama Penny, which follows an autistic young woman who cannot speak but finds a way to communicate in song. WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello continues her hot streak and her […]

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The Little Prince. Photo by Scott Suchman.

‘The Little Prince’ at Washington National Opera

If you saw a drawing of a lumpy hat, would you assume it was just that? As an adult, you might. In the Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera: Holiday Family Opera production of The Little Prince, you will learn that the hat is not really a hat at all, but a python that swallowed an […]

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‘Florencia in the Amazon’ at Washington National Opera

A mystical and lushly romantic journey down the Amazon River is only the beginning of the fully absorbing and richly textured production of the current offering of the Washington National Opera (WNO), Florencia in the Amazon. This intriguing and somewhat rarified opera encompasses the search for a lost love as embodied in the character of […]

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‘The Elixir of Love’ (L’elisir D’amore) at Washington National Opera

Washington National Opera harvests the laughs with its production of The Elixir of Love (L’elisir D’amore). After a risk-taking season of world premieres and new American works like The Lion, The Unicorn, And Me, and Moby-Dick, and the reimagining of The Force of Destiny, WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello returns to a classic bel canto comic opera complete […]

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Washington National Opera’s ‘The Force of Destiny’ (‘La Forza Del Destino’) by Jessica Vaughan

Washington National Opera has mounted a provocative new production of Giuseppe Verdi’s The Force of Destiny (La Forza Del Destino) directed by WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello for Verdi’s 200th birthday. The libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the novel, Don Álvaro, or The Force of Fate. WNO has not produced this […]

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 Alwyn Mellor. Photo courtesy of

An Interview with Washington National Opera’s ‘Tristan and Isolde’s’ Alwyn Mellor by Leslie Weisman

British soprano is making her debut with the Washington National Opera in the role of Isolde in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, sharing the role with Swedish soprano Iréne Theorin. Leslie: You’ve recently taken on, to great acclaim, two of Wagner’s meatiest roles for soprano: Isolde und Brünnhilde, both women of unyielding strength and passion whose love […]

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Ian Storey. Photo courtesy of Washington National Opera.

Interview with Ian Storey of ‘Tristan and Isolde’ at Washington National Opera by Leslie Weisman

British tenor Ian Storey plays Tristan in Washington National Opera’s Tristan and Isolde Leslie: You’ve performed the role of Tristan in opera houses from Berlin to Glyndebourne, under the baton of gifted conductors from Daniel Barenboim to, here in DC, Philippe Auguin, and directors from Patrice Chéreau to Neil Armfield here. Have there been any salient […]

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