Bayerische Staatsoper 2017-18 Review – Così Fan Tutte: Eye-Catching Couples, Comedy and Camaraderie Display Mozart’s Magic

“Così fan tutte” has often been a vehicle for some terrific singing as the third and final Mozart opera penned by Lorenzo Da Ponte. That was again the case Friday night at the Bayerische Staatsoper as a cast of rising stars showcased their respective talents in octogenarian Dieter Dorn’s production. When something has lasted for almost a quarter century, there {…}

La Fenice 2016-17 Review – Cefalo e Procri: Solid Production Concept & Team Revives Underdeveloped Work

For the final new production of the 2016-17 season, La Fenice presented Krenek’s chamber opera, “Cefalo e Procri,” consisting of a prologue and three scenes. Written in 1934, for the 3rd International Festival of Contemporary Music at the Venice Biennale and premiered at the Teatro Goldoni, to a libretto by Kuefferle, it received only a lukewarm reception and promptly disappeared {…}

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 {…}