Teatro La Fenice 2017-18 Review – L’Elisir d’Amore: Irina Dubrovskaya and Leonardo Cortellazzi Put On Striking Displays in Donizetti Masterpiece

The path of true love never runs smoothly, or so the well-known expression runs. Through the centuries men and women have constantly misunderstood each other’s intentions; the game of love is no simple affair. What should be a simple development between two people who love each other almost by default becomes complicated and fraught with misunderstandings as they engage in {…}

Carnegie Hall 2017-18 Review: A Beacon in the Dark – Dashon Burton and Company Captivate With World Premieres of “We Are One” and “Sanctuary Road”

On May 7, 2018, audiences at Carnegie Hall were treated to not one, but two world premieres by The Oratorio Society of New York. The first work, “We Are One,” comes from composer Behzad Ranjbaran. It is described as “an expression of our shared desire for respect, justice, freedom, and peace… ‘We Are One’ employs a unified musical tone throughout {…}

Vienna State Opera 2017-18 Review – Andrea Chénier: Jonas Kaufmann Shines, But Another Star Is Brighter

Giordano’s “Andrea Chénier” is in many ways a sibling of Puccini’s “Tosca.” Both were sired by librettist Luigi Illica and both share the staple verismo ingredients of sex, politics, romantic obsession, frustrated baritones, and a grim end for the protagonists. There is also the common factor of youth in all its sanguine exuberance. Cavaradossi and Chénier are idealists with fatal {…}

National Sawdust 2018 Review – The Secret Diary of Nora Plain: An Immersive Experience That Explores Surveillance & The Inner Mind

Surrounded by the puzzle-like figurations on the walls of the National Sawdust performance space for a Classical Sunday series, audience members discovered Nora Plain as she stood on stage. The Ragazze Quartet circled Nora as she began to sing in a speech-like style.  She shared with listeners a private confessional as she performed “I Did Some Things,” and invited all to {…}

Bohemian National Hall 2018 – Master-Pieces: Petr Kotik Opera Is An Intense & Thought-Provoking Experience

Throughout his career, Petr Kotik has explored musical boundaries as a performer and composer.  He studied flute at the Conservatory and Music Academy in Prague, and composition at the Music Academy in Vienna.  In the 1970’s, Kotik performed experimental music and established himself as a musician full of new ideas.  And now, in 2018, Kotik has redefined his path to {…}

Houston Grand Opera 2017-18 Review- Norma: Liudmyla Monastyrska & Jamie Barton Triumph in Bellini’s Masterpiece

The great German soprano Lilli Lehmann once famously remarked that singing all three Brünnhildes in Wagner’s Ring Cycle , which equals about eight hours of singing, was less taxing than a single performance of Bellini’s “Norma.” Indeed, a great “Norma” certainly doesn’t grow on trees, and in any given generation there are maybe a handful of singers who can tackle {…}

Teatro Filharmonico 2017-18 Review – Anna Bolena: Irina Lungu & Annalisa Stroppa Lead Incredible Cast In Graham Vick’s Relevant Production

The Tudors were a colorful bunch of monarchs, who were never afraid to chop-off the odd head here and there, indulge themselves in various kinds of political and sexual intrigues, father the occasional bastard, change the country’s religion now and again whilst burning a few heretics along the way, and seemed positively addicted to controversy. Their history is littered with {…}