Opera di Firenze, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 2017 Review – L’Elisir d’Amore: Magical Cast & Production Give Donizetti Comedy Dramatic Depth

Review written in collaboration with David Salazar, Editor-in-Chief Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore” is often portrayed as an innocent tale of a country bumpkin often getting the girl of his dreams. Most of the time, Nemorino’s strife emphasizes his luck in landing his beloved, first through the fact that his beloved Adina does, in fact, love him and simply needs a spark {…}

Festival della Valle D’Itria 2017 Review – Orlando Furioso: Imaginative Production & Vocal Artistry Make Case for Vivaldi’s Operatic Talents

During his lifetime Vivaldi was a prolific composer of operas, responsible for setting at least 45 libretti, linked to at least 67 stage works, although Vivaldi claimed it to be 94. Yet, today his operatic output has been largely forgotten, being at best, of marginal interest to the opera-going public, restricted to recordings, rare concerts, and even rarer staged performances. {…}

Performance Santa Fe 2017 Review – Festival of Song: Brief Encounters: Vocal Quintet & Three Short Operas Deliver Memorable Evening

On July 30, 2017, at the Scottish Rite Center, Performance Santa Fe presented a vocal quintet and 3 short operas. Fifteen-year-old Ezra Shcolnik, a graduate of Performance Santa Fe’s young artist program who currently studies at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, wrote the Quintet. Mark Adamo, Jake Heggie, and Joe Illick wrote the short operas. Maestro Illick also accompanied {…}

Bard SummerScape Festival 2017 Review – Dimitrij: A Flawed Production Makes Compelling Case For Dvořák’s Rarely Heard Sixth Opera

Let me start off by saying “Dimitrij” is not Dvořák’s melodic masterpiece nor is it the most important work by the composer. But Dvořák’s sixth opera is a compelling grand opera that deserves more exposure and more productions. In sum, while listening to this unique opera, one can certainly hear hints of the dramatic prowess Dvořák would eventually utilize to {…}

Festival della Valle d’Itria Review 2017 – Margherita d’Anjou: Director Shifts Plot From 15th Century to Reality TV Setting… And It Works

Martina Franca, situated in Puglia in south east Italy, is home to the annual Festival della Valle d’Itria, which is largely, although not exclusively, devoted to the presentation of obscure, neglected, and rarely-performed operas. Its stated mission is “dedicated to researching and deepening our knowledge of Italian bel canto,” and it is in this light that it selects operas and {…}

Bayerische Staatsoper 2016-17 Review – La Forza Del Destino: Jonas Kaufmann, Anja Harteros Dominate In A Personal Narrative Encapsulated In A Far Larger Context

Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” has had an uneven performance history despite containing some of the composer’s most memorable music, not least its well-known overture, made famous through concert performances, and the emotionally charged duets that characterize the work. The problem, however, stems not from its music, but from its sprawling structure and the complex tensions that drive the narrative. {…}