Deutsche Oper Berlin 2017-18 Review – Rigoletto: Zeljko Lucic To The Rescue In Muddled Jan Bosse Production

The Deutsche Oper Berlin had a problem for its final presentation of “Rigoletto” on Thursday night. The baritone Markus Bruck was forced to cancel around noon that day from his scheduled appearance in the title role. Fortunately, the company had a tremendous solution at hand. The Serbian baritone Zeljko Lucic was available since he was present to perform in “Nabucco” {…}

Semperoper Dresden 2017-18 Review – La Forza del Destino: Mark Wigglesworth’s Music Making Overcomes Uneven Leads in Unique Production

Dresden’s Semperoper’s production of “La Forza del Destino” showed how Verdi once again cut a big swathe in subject matter: the idea of fate, “schicksal,” “destino”, destiny, and its power over human emotions and actions. Prize-winning British conductor Mark Wigglesworth led the orchestra through the highs and lows of the tension in such a dialectic, never sacrificing the glories of {…}

Philadelphia Orchestra 2017-18 Review – Tosca: Yannick Nézet-Séguin Ends Season With Rousing Symphonic Take on Puccini Classic

“The crown! The crest! It’s the Attavanti’s!” Exclaimed the tempestuous diva Floria Tosca, as she paced about in a frenzied fit of jealousy after being led to believe by the scheming and lascivious Barron Scarpia that her lover, the painter and maverick Mario Cavaradossi, had been dallying with a Marchesa in the chapel. In fact, no such dalliance occurred, as {…}

Opera Di Roma 2017-18 Review – Billy Budd: Company Premiere of Britten Masterwork Given Pitch-Perfect Production

The central drama in “Billy Budd” unambiguously rotates around the relationships between Seaman Billy Budd, Captain Vere, and the Master-at-Arms, John Claggart. However, the exact nature of the relationships and the psychological motivations upon which they are founded are shrouded in a white mist, opening up the possibility for directors to pursue a variety of valid interpretations. Many recent productions {…}

Long Beach Opera 2017-18 Review – The Love Potion: A Wonderful Production & Team Engages In Enchanting Experience

At a matinee performance in the Warner Grand Theater, San Pedro, California, on May 13, 2018, Long Beach Opera (LBO) presented Swiss composer Frank Martin’s secular oratorio “The Love Potion (“Le Vin Herbé”)” as an opera. Based on Joseph Bédier’s early twentieth century “Le Roman de Tristan et Iseut,” the musical work was first performed in Zurich in 1942. Although {…}

Staatsoper Berlin 2017-18 Review – King Arthur: A Highly Imaginative Take on the Purcell Work

For many, King Arthur is Britain. Deep in the history and literature, he stands as an icon of Britain’s essence – heroic, brave, mighty, magnanimous – the pinnacle of the good, even if flawed as even the noblest are. Henry Purcell’s opera, a.k.a. semi-opera, “King Arthur,” set to English poet John Dryden’s libretto, incorporates some of these characteristics while it {…}

Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center 2018 Review – Orphic Moments: Matthew Aucoin‘s Cantata Enriches Orpheus Myth

In response to the increasing interest surrounding Matthew Aucoin’s “Orphic Moments,” the cast from National Sawdust in 2016 reformed this past week at the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Additionally, MasterVoices was part of the performance in the new space. The 130 member chorus, which specializes in multiple genres of music, added not only an inspirational dimension of {…}