Lyric Opera of Chicago 2017-18 Review – Orphée et Eurydice: Collaboration With Joffrey Ballet Showcases Neumeier’s Vision in a Season Opener to Remember

Collaboration is a word not used much in these hyper-polarized political times. For arts organizations facing some hard realities, it is becoming a vital part of their future. It was this cultural backdrop that brought Lyric Opera of Chicago together with the famed Joffrey Ballet for the company’s season opener of Gluck’s “Orphée et Eurydice,” seen Wednesday in the run’s {…}

Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Review – Les Contes d’Hoffmann: Vittorio Grigolo Leads a Hilariously Entertaining Evening

Will Bartlett Sher’s production of Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” become one of the Metropolitan Opera’s more beloved productions now that eight seasons have passed since it debuted?  It is hard to say considering that the final work of Hoffmann remains a mystery that was completed after his death. To recap, the Cologne-born Offenbach died before he completed the score for {…}

Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Review – Die Zauberflöte: James Levine Leads a Solid Cast in Mozart’s Enigmatic Masterpiece

On September 27, 2017, the Metropolitan Opera revived its Julie Taymor production of “Die Zauberflöte.”  Her take on this beloved classic, complete with puppets and dancing flamingos, is a treasured relic of the Volpe era and this revival received the star treatment. James Levine, the Met’s music director emeritus, was in the pit while coloratura Kathryn Lewek offered her world-famous {…}

Utopia Opera 2017 Review – Hydrogen Jukebox: An Illuminating Experience From Two of the Greatest Artists of the 21st Century

First premiering in 1988, “Hydrogen Jukebox” is an unorthodox take on opera that attempts to convey the overwhelming feelings held by American citizens from the 1950s to the 1980s. In tackling this deliberately dense work, Utopia Opera opted for a number of creative choices that made the performance as relatable as it was satisfying. Diverse Characters The characters of “Hydrogen {…}

Vienna State Opera 2017-18 Review – Khovanshchina: Satisfaction on An Epic Scale

Mussorgsky’s epic masterpiece, “Khovanshchina,” like its predecessor “Boris Godunov,” is an exploration into a significant period of Russian history. However, whereas “Boris Godunov” focuses primarily on the individual tragedy of Boris, of a Tsar destroyed from within by his own personal demons, “Khovanshchina” is conceived on a far grander scale, one in which Mussorgsky seeks to lay bare the momentous {…}