In Review

In Review Stage Reviews
Palau de les Arts 2017-18 Review – Il Corsaro: Michael Fabiano & Vito Priante Dominate in Early Verdi Opera
This review is for the performance on April 1, 2018. Many of Verdi’s early operas are strange concoctions. As you sit there listening to these works, you find yourself often carried away by the hints of the genius to come. The knowledge of what he will become creates the anticipation that he will show up in his full greatness in the work at hand, meaning that frustration will eventually set…
In Review Stage Reviews
Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Review – Luisa Miller: An Unquestioned Triumph for Yoncheva and Beczala
“Luisa Miller” is long considered to mark the beginning of Verdi’s “middle period” with themes of class division and an ill-fated romance that foreshadow the composer’s brilliant “La Traviata.”  It also came at a time when Verdi was more open to sourcing from outside of his homeland, with the German playwright Friedrich von Schiller’s Kabale und Liebe the material for this work. The Metropolitan Opera revived a production by Elijah…
In Review Stage Reviews
Teatro Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 2017-18 Review – Alceste: Nino Surguladze Has Solid Night in Sweet Revival of Gluck Opera
It was in 1951 that the Italian director Pier Luigi Pizzi began working in the theatre, and now, incredibly, at the age of 87, and over 65 years later, he is still going strong. Returning to Florence’s Teatro Maggio Musicale for a reprise of a production of Gluck’s “Alceste,” which he originally staged in 2015 at Venice’s La Fenice, Pizzi oversaw its return to the stage, and a splendid job…
In Review Stage Reviews
New York City Opera 2017-18 Review – Il Pigmalione and Pigmalion: An Unusual & Exciting Double-Bill
One thing I can say, with assurance, about the newly revived New York City Opera’s programming is…that it is anything but the expected. Productions such as the recent “Delores Claiborne” and “Cruzar la Cara de la Luna,” all reviewed by me for Operawire, could not have been more different. But they all share an excitement and vision that is breathing new, creative life into an art form that many believe is struggling…
In Review Stage Reviews
Royal Opera House Season 2017-18 Review – Macbeth: Anna Netrebko & Zeljko Lucic Shine In Unsatisfactory Production
Director Phyllida Lloyd’s 2002 production of Verdi’s “Macbeth” doesn’t need a revival to age. Cluttered with too many literal symbols – Lady Macbeth attempting to wash blood off in the bath, Duncan clad in a glittery gold cloak that Macbeth dons when assuming the throne, the presence of a running tap onstage as the two killer spouses sing of their compulsive need to become clean – the rendering swiftly begins…
In Review Stage Reviews
Chicago Symphony Orchestra 2017-18 Review: Sublime Schubert & DeShong Debut Mark Enthralling Evening
Celebrating 60 years of the Chicago Symphony Chorus was no easy task given the unit’s reputation for quality. That anniversary was marked this past weekend with a program highlighted by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus putting forth an absolutely sublime Schubert Mass in E-Flat major. The three-part program began with maestro Riccardo Muti and the CSO performing the overture to Weber’s “Oberon.” Next up was a world premiere of…
In Review Stage Reviews
Carnegie Hall 2017-18 Review – Rinaldo: The English Concert Conquers In Hearts & Imagination in Handel Masterpiece
Concert performances of operas can be a rather mixed bag. The works themselves were concocted with the vision of being complete art forms and taking them out of this context can be difficult. Many operas can get away with it simply by the symphonic qualities of the music (see Wagner or Strauss). But this can take an even more complex life of its own in a baroque opera, with its…
In Review Stage Reviews
Opéra de Lyon Season 2017-18 – Attila: Verdi Opera Rants & Rampages But Daniele Rustioni Reigns
Giuseppe Verdi didn’t think much of political oppressors no matter if they were civilized Habsburg princes with good table manners or arriviste autocrats with one hand on the guillotine and the other in the till. Some of the least attractive characters in his operas ranged from pushy regicidal wives and vengeful Venetian psychopaths to homicidal high priests of Ptah and sanguinary Grand Inquisitors. Given Verdi’s lifelong libertarian beliefs, it is…
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Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Review – Lucia di Lammermoor: Olga Peretyatko-Mariotti & Vittorio Grigolo Triumph In ‘Lucia Di Lammermoor’
This review is for the performance on Thursday, March 22, 2018.  Before I begin my review, properly, of this absolutely incredible evening, which featured some amazing musical moments, I want to bring up a constant I have seen throughout the past few years at the Metropolitan Opera and many theaters in the world. This season, the Metropolitan Opera presented a chopped up version of “Semiramide” which felt stilted and unbalanced.…
In Review Stage Reviews
Litmus Residency 2018 Review – ALICE: A Bittersweet Feast Not Fully Fleshed
This review is for a work currently in development, and as such does not reflect any future productions. Mary Prescott’s “ALICE” offers the audience a first-hand journey into the life of a woman utterly at the mercy of those around her. No relation to the works by Lewis Carroll, Prescott’s chamber opera employs a number of creative choices to bring the story to life. The staging was part art exhibition…