Gran Teatre del Liceu 2017-18 Review – Demon: The Devil’s In The Detail – Or Lack Thereof.

For most opera connoisseurs west of Kaliningrad, the name Anton Rubinstein is unlikely to ring many glockenspiels. This acclaimed composer and pianist, considered the virtuosic equal of Liszt, actually wrote twice as many operas as Puccini but outside Russia, his music is virtually unknown. Productions in the west of his most successful opera “Demon” are as rare as a real Romanov. {…}

Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Review – Roméo Et Juliette: Ailyn Pérez, Charles Castronovo, Plácido Domingo & Co. Deliver Darker, Heavier Interpretation of Gounod Opera

Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette” is arguably the composer’s best work – an extended love duet with beautiful melodies that capture the essence of Shakespeare’s classic tale, if not its complexity. For years, the Met showcased a production that did draw closer to the greatness of Shakespeare, before replacing it with Bartlett Sher’s current interpretation. Sher’s version gets the job done {…}

Teatro Regio Torino 2017-18 Review – I Lombardi: Angela Meade & Francesco Meli Sparkle In Early, But Underdeveloped Verdi Opera

A number of Verdi’s early operas are closely associated with the Risorgimento, no more so than “Nabucco” with its famous chorus, “Va pensiero,” in which the people yearn for a homeland. Arguably, however, it was the follow-up and now rarely performed opera, “I Lombardi alla Prima crociata,” which best encapsulates the spirit of the Italian people’s desire for nationhood. Listening {…}

Usedomer Musik Festival 2018 Review – Jakub Jósef Orliński Gives a Bravura Baroque Recital Minus Bboy Boomerangs

The remote Baltic coast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern might seem a strange place for a Music Festival, but for 25 years the island of Usedom has been hosting artists of international repute. Skeptical foreign visitors expecting bleak windswept dunes with a few forlorn fishermen’s shanties shrouded in eau de poisson will be in for a big surprise. Usedom’s popularity reached its apogee during {…}

Kirker Music Festival on Lake Como 2018 Review: Benjamin Appl Sings a Celestial Liederabend in Arcadian Italy.

Lago di Como is said to be the most beautiful place in Italy, which is a very big call indeed. Since Pliny the Younger, Lake Como has attracted discerning aristocrats, poets, politicians and potentates, artists and arrivistes, cultivated voyageurs and celebrity votaries. Stendhal and Mark Twain, George IV’s unwelcome wife Queen Caroline, Sir Winston Churchill, Gianni Versace, numerous Rockefellers, Richard {…}

Manhattan School of Music 2017-18 Review – La Cenerentola: A Solid Production Featuring Aspiring Talent Through & Through

After a delightful performance of Isouard’s “Cendrillon” during their fall 2017 season, Manhattan School of Music (MSM) showcased another version of the beloved story of Cinderella this weekend, with Rossini’s “La Cenerentola. ” While still celebrating the success of “The Barber of Seville” and not yet 25-years-old, Gioacchino Rossini met Jacopo Ferretti and together they decided to create “La Cenerentola, Ossia La {…}