Stage Reviews

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.…
In Review Stage Reviews
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…
In Review Stage Reviews
Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Review – Tosca: Yoncheva, Grigolo, Villaume Not Ready for Primetime
This review is for the performance on Jan. 4, 2018. It was the most hotly anticipated production of the new Met season, the run-up to its unveiling on New Year’s Eve as big a melodrama as the opera itself, filled with unexpected twists and turns. And like the opera itself, where its final act feels like an anti-climax after the masterpiece that is Act two, the production itself proved unable…
In Review Stage Reviews
Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Review – Le Nozze di Figaro: Three Latinas Lead One of Best Casts of Season
It was Latin night at the Met on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, with three Latin American artists headlining a revival of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro.” Ailyn Pérez, Isabel Leonard, and Nadine Sierra all topped the billing of a cast that also included two Eastern Europeans, Ildar Abdrazakov and Mariusz Kwiecien, as Figaro and the Count Almaviva respectively. To put it succinctly, every one of these five major artists had…
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Opera San Jose 2017-18 Review – Cinderella: 12-Year-Old Alma Deutscher Is a Genius To Behold
On a cold-for-northern California day, two days before Christmas, people streamed into the California Theater to attend the final performance of – “Cinderella” on Market Street in San Jose (a.k.a. Silicon Valley). Not "Cenerentola," Rossini’s comic piece, but a work by a 12-year old composer, unveiling the debut for her second opera. Yes, on a similar heroine – a poor, misunderstood beggar girl, poorly treated, unloved, and family-less, until found…
In Review Stage Reviews
Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Review – Hansel and Gretel: Lisette Oropesa & Co. Deliver One of Season’s Finest Performances
This review is for the performance on Dec. 22, 2017. We’re going to change things up a bit for this review. I don’t enjoy writing in the first person for this kind of article, but “Hansel and Gretel” is an extremely personal experience for me. It was the first opera I ever saw in my life at the age of 10. I still have faint recollections of how that first…