In Review

In Review Stage Reviews
Metropolitan Opera: 2017-18 Review – L’Elisir D’Amore: Polenzani Leaves Audience Drunk on Love
This review is for the performance on Saturday, January 20, 2018. Audiences at the Metropolitan Opera were in for a treat this evening as they gathered for Donizetti’s heartfelt comedy “L’Elisir D’Amore.” Bartlett Sher’s production faithfully held to tradition while creating an authentic experience of a small, connected village where events big or small ripple outwards and leave nothing untouched. While Sher's production attempts to create themes of the Risorgimento and…
In Review Stage Reviews
Prague National Theatre 2017-18 Review – Billy Budd: Britten Masterwork Capsizes In a Sea of Questionable Direction
Herman Melville, E.M. Forster, Eric Crozier and Benjamin Britten all believed that "Billy Budd" was set at sea. Czech theatre director Daniel Špinar thinks otherwise. His new four-act production of Britten’s psychologically fascinating, demonstrably homoerotic and deeply disturbing drama for the National Theatre in Prague had as much to do with HMS Indomitable as "Madama Butterfly" moved to Mozambique. In the Prologue, Vere sings “Confusion, so much is confusion!” which is…
In Review Stage Reviews
The Broad Stage Review 2018: Jonas Kaufmann’s Musical Genius Comes to Fore in Schubert’s ‘Die Schöne Mullerin’
Here is the story of a man and his brook... the poet and the maiden, the tenor and his Schubert. In other words – Jonas Kaufmann in Santa Monica, MLK day, 2018. Thirty somethings, 80 somethings, 39s, 48s, 24s... be-earringed, high-heeled, suited, sweat-shirted, flaming red and ocean blue hair, finely-knit sweaters, plain black jackets – all pressed through the doors of the smart, exquisite, 500 seat Broad Performing Arts Theater…
In Review Stage Reviews
Royal Opera House 2017-18 Review – Tosca: Pieczonka, Calleja, Finley Don’t Quite Mesh in Revival of Jonathan Kent’s Classic Produciton
There are instances in which it’s difficult for opera-lovers to remember "Tosca" is no comedy. From that perspective it is easy to recall the legend of a certain prima donna who once bounced back from the trampoline that was supposed to break her fall as Tosca killed herself. Floria Tosca is not one of opera’s most pitiable characters. She is fastidious, caricaturish, possessive enough to become jealous of a painted…
In Review Stage Reviews
Royal Opera House 2017-18 Review – Salome: David McVicar’s Thrilling Production & Michael Volle’s Violent Presence Make For Impactful Evening of Opera
London is a chilly place. Yet on this particularly evening I leave my coat in the hotel and zip to Covent Garden. No room nor time for extra layers, since attending a performance in the Royal Opera House is a cluttered affair. The long lines for cloakrooms stifle with imperial colognes, and the tight, even if velvet, chairs make Ryanair seem socially responsible. My weekend opera marathon starts with "Salome."…
In Review Stage Reviews
Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Review -Tosca: Jennifer Rowley Triumphs in Glimmering Production
This review is for the performance on Friday, January 12th, 2018. In keeping with the spirit of verismo, Metropolitan Opera's production of "Tosca" offered one of the most realistic portrayals of Puccini's celebrated work. The set may as well have been a window to another time thanks to the care taken by the creative team headed by John Macfarlane. As splendidly as the stage was set, it would not shine…
In Review Stage Reviews
Finnish National Opera 2017-18 Review – La Traviata: Less-Than-Spectacular Singing Saved By Roasted Almonds At Intermission
For an opera lover, dismissing the local opera house is a sin. For that reason, I make it a rule to attend several performances every year in The Finnish National Opera, a few tram stops away from where I live. This year started with "La Traviata." This household opera brand is a sad three-act story of tuberculosis, bullying, and dying happy. Yet attending "La Traviata" is rarely a gloomy experience.…
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Tenri Cultural Institute 2018 Review – Emily Bronte: Through Life and Death, A Chainless Soul: A Fitting Celebration Of Bronte’s Genius
To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Emily Bronte, the Tenri Cultural Institute world premiered “Emily Bronte: Through Life and Death, A Chainless Soul,” composed by Akemi Naito. Naito’s work was presented within the “Healing” exhibition of visual artist Toshihiro Sakuma, which gave a minimal but deeply-meaningful surrounding for the performance to unfold. With a background projection of tumultuous rain at the beginning, which gave way to the…
In Review Stage Reviews
Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Review – Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci: Roberto Alagna Triumphs With Two Incredible Divas
"Pagliacci" and "Cavalleria Rusticana" is one of the signature double bills in opera that show offs the many qualities of a leading tenor. Both parts are known for their demanding vocal challenges and in many cases are sung by two different tenors. However, in the Metropolitan Opera's current revival of David McVicar's production, Roberto Alagna triumphed in two of his best performances in recent Met history alongside two incredible divas. The…
In Review Stage Reviews
Wagner Society of New York 2018 Review: Heldentenor Clay Hilley Conquers Love & Music In Life-Changing Recital
It was close to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. Heldentenor Clay Hilley had already conquered the rage of the ocean, immersed himself in the diary of one who vanished, become one with the earth. He had even forged Siegfried’s legendary sword Nothung. And yet his most challenging role of the evening was right in front him. After some raucous applause from the crowd assembled at the Good Shepherd…