Santa Fe Opera 2017 Review – Golden Cockerel: Emmanuel Villaume Leads An Impressive Cast In Rimsky-Korsakov’s Masterpiece

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov probably knew that a tale of an appallingly incompetent royal would still resonate with audiences almost 108 years after its Moscow premiere. On August 3, 2017, the Santa Fe Opera presented Rimsky-Korsakov’s seldom-performed “The Golden Cockerel,” marking its SFO debut. At the podium was conductor Emmanuel Villaume, paired with famed English director Paul Curran. Years ago, when Santa Fe Opera {…}

Chautauqua Opera 2017 Review – Don Pasquale: A Top-Notch Cast & Production Make For An Enjoyable Evening of Donizetti’s Comic Masterwork

In what appears to be a trend this summer, Chautauqua Opera’s production of Donizetti’s classic opera buffa “Don Pasquale” was distinguished by its treatment of a non-title character, in this case the gorgeous lyric baritone of Kyle Pfortmiller as Dr. Malatesta. Under the direction of David Schweizer, Malatesta doesn’t just engineer the complicated ruse designed to unite lovers Norina (Laura {…}

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 {…}