Stage Reviews

In Review Stage Reviews
Los Angeles Philharmonic 2018 Review – Otello
Last year, rising Verdi star Russell Thomas spoke to OperaWire about his strategy for easing into such a titanic role the title role in Verdi's "Otello." "I always thought if I would try to take on such a monumental task, the first outing would have to be in concert so I can focus only on the singing and not have to worry about staging and costumes, etc.," he said. Thomas performed…
In Review Stage Reviews
Tanglewood Festival 2018 – La Bohème
Some reading this review -- perhaps many -- have never been to the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts. Much more than the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood is a magical place; so many thrilling, historical performances and moments have taken place here. And I've been lucky to attend many of those performances, such as Seiji Ozawa’s triumphal championing of Berlioz, making use of the expanse and…
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Teatro Regio Di Torino 2017-18 Review: Don Giovanni
The Stone Guest, standing at the back of the stage, offers Don Giovanni his hand and demands that he repent for his dissolute life. Staying true to his nature, Don Giovanni refuses and, amid the flames and screams, is dragged down to Hell, bringing the scene to an end. As usual, many in the audience assume the opera has finished. The libertine has got his just reward, there is no more…
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WQXR Greene Space 2018 Review: La Belle Chanson
This review is for the performance on Wednesday, June 27th. Listeners reveled in an evening dedicated to Paris’ La Belle Époque period during a special performance aired live at WQXR Classical Radio Station’s Greene Space. The show featured the highly praised tenor Nick Phan, singing Fauré’s “La Bonne Chanson,” and other musical settings of Paul Verlaine’s poetry by Debussy, Renaldo Hahn and Leo Ferré. Excerpts from biographies written by Edmund…
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River to River Festival 2018 Review: Naamah’s Ark
This Review is for the performance on  Sunday, June 17th. The River to River Festival, presented by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), showcased Marisa Michelson and Royce Vavrek’s “Naamah’s Ark” in Rockefeller Park at the start of this year’s 76th season. This community oratorio included seven ensembles and six soloists - Victoria Clark, as Naamah, Cantor Rebecca Garfein of Congregation Rudolph Sholom, as a Soloist, Melody Betts, as a Gospel…
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Teatro Alla Scala 2017-18 Review – Il Pirata
Performances of Bellini’s melodrama, “Il Pirata,” at the Teatro alla Scala have, over the years, been few and far between. Originally written for the theatre in 1827, and starring the celebrated soprano, Henriette Méric-Lalande as Imogene and the famous tenor Giovanni Battista Rubini as Gualtiero, it was roundly deemed to be a success, and quickly received two revivals, one in 1830 and the other in 1840. It had, however, to…
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Royal Opera House 2017-2018 Review: Falstaff
Dangerously close to the genre of farce, Verdi’s “Falstaff” almost lifts the burden of tough singing from its players. Centered on a large ensemble cast to which - with the exception of the titular protagonist – the vocal challenges are doled out almost equally, its arias are largely scant. Transferring the setting from 15th-century London to a fanciful, blown-up and whimsical take on the fifties, Robert Carsen’s 2012 production of…
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Gran Teatro del Liceu 2017-18 Season – Manon Lescaut
Any time an opera production begins with non-textual lines, especially in a language different to the libretto, alarm bells ring louder the tubular Grail chimes in “Parsifal." Such was the case in Davide Livermore’s new staging of “Manon Lescaut” for the Gran Teatre del Liceu which had already been seen in co-production with the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. Instead of opening in a pre-revolutionary square in Amiens c.1760 as Puccini…
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Teatro La Fenice 2017-18 Review: Richard III
Giorgio Battistelli is Italy’s most prolific living opera composer, with a catalogue of more than 30 compositions for the stage. In 2005, his opera, “Richard III,” received its world premiere at the De Vlaamse Opera, Belgium, to considerable acclaim and was followed by revivals in Düsseldorf and Geneva. Now, after more than 13 years, it has received its Italian premier at Venice’s La Fenice, in a reprise of Robert Carsen’s…
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Bayerische Staatsoper 2017-18 Review: Parsifal
"Parsifal. Parsifal." Real? Dreamed? Which? In the opening of the Bayerische Staatsoper Opernfest 2018, we couldn’t tell. The new production by Pierre Audi and Georg Baselitz, which featured Jonas Kaufmann, René Pape, Christian Gerhahar, Nina Stemme, Wolfgang Koch, and conductor Kirill Petrenko, took us to a world far-beyond the drizzly night outside the doors, and watched a human and sacred tale that raised similar questions. Set in a nameless wood,…