The Chautauqua Opera Company 2017 Review – L’Orfeo: Respighi’s Orchestration of the Monteverdi Masterwork Asserts the Power of Music

“L’Orfeo” debuted in 1607, as Capt. John Smith sailed across the Atlantic to found a settlement in Jamestown, Virginia. It is the oldest opera in the repertoire. So for it to have an American premiere of any sort in 2017 is remarkable. But on Saturday, July 8th, 2017, the Respighi orchestration of Monteverdi’s version of the tale of Orpheus and {…}

‘Lohengrin’ DVD Review: Anna Netrebko, Evelyn Herlitzius & Piotr Beczala Are Unforgettable In Deutsche Grammophon’s Masterful Release

Last season Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala did what most expected was impossible. They performed their first Wagner roles in “Lohengrin.” During the four performances, rumors swirled around that the run had been recorded for DVD. A year later the rumors came to fruition as a DVD was released through Deutsche Grammophon in what is one of the finest “Lohengrin” {…}

Teatro La Fenice 2017 Review – La Sonnambula: A Risk-Taking Diva & Production Elevate Bellini’s Musical Genius

Bellini’s pastoral opera “La Sonnambula” made a welcome return to La Fenice, in a revival of Bepi Morassi’s 2012, widely-acclaimed production. In this outing, conducted by Fabrizio Maria Carminati, Irina Dubrovskaya played the role of Amina, with Shalva Mukeria as Elvino and Roberto Scandiuzzi as Rodolfo. The minor roles were undertaken by Julie Mellor as Teresa, Silvia Frigato as Lisa {…}

Des Moines Metro Opera Review 2017 – Billy Budd: Zachary James Illuminates Britten Masterwork With His Own Masterpiece Interpretation

If you surveyed the most recent 1,000 opera reviews, “testosterone” would not be one of the top hits. Unless you were Googling the Des Moines Metro Opera’s new production of “Billy Budd,” which promises to be the hit of its 45th season. Energized by the transformative performance of Zachary James as the “villain” John Claggart, this story is about much {…}