Tiroler Landestheater 2018 Review – Rienzi: While Uneven Musically, Johannes Reitmeier Presents Timely & Relevant Interpretation of Neglected Wagner Work

Strange as it may now seem, but during Wagner’s own lifetime, and well into the early 20th century, “Rienzi” was one of his most oft performed works, knocking up over 200 performances by 1908 in Dresden alone, the city in which it was premiered. Nowadays, no doubt, owing in part to Wagner’s own reservations about the work, it has become {…}

Salzburg Whitsun Gala Konzert 2018: Jonas Kaufmann & Cecilia Bartoli Deliver Rossini & Wagner Goods Of Highest Order

Salzburg’s Whitsun Festival hosted a Gala on Monday evening, May 21, 2018. Conducted by Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle, Berlin, it was a splendid event. Cecilia Bartoli and Jonas Kaufmann did the vocal honors after Rolando Villazón canceled for health reasons. Bartoli and Barenboim included additional music to supplement the absent singer, and Jonas Kaufmann sang solo from the Wesendonck {…}

Whitsun Festival Salzburg 2018 Review – L’Italiana in Algeri: Cecilia Bartoli Stars & Leads The Way In Rossini Comedy

What could be a more wondrous opera evening than a marvelous ensemble performance that showcases a brilliant opera star? Salzburg’s Whitsun Festval’s “L’Italiana in Algeri” was one such instance. Directed by Moise Leise and Patrick Caurier, and headlining mezzo-soprano par excellence Cecilia Bartoli, the production exceeded all expectations. This Opera Buffa, written when Rossini was a mere 21-years-old and here conducted {…}

Komische Oper Berlin 2017-18 Review – Eugene Onegin: Barrie Kosky’s Rendition of Tchaikovsky Masterwork Destined to Be Remembered Forever

The Komische Oper in Berlin has soared in reputation under the leadership of Barrie Kosky for its innovative programming.  It is regarded as the destination in town for rarely-performed opera works. Scheduling an opera trip in Berlin is full of challenges and my maiden journey to the Komische was for the altogether familiar “Eugene Onegin” by Tchaikovsky on Saturday night {…}

Vienna State Opera 2017-18 Review – Samson et Dalila: Despite Solid Turns From Roberto Alagna and Elina Garanca, Modern Makeover of Classic Bible Story Goes Up In Flames (Literally)

Taking the biblical element out of “Samson et Dalila” makes about as much sense as setting “Madama Butterfly” in Botswana. Typical of many opera directors trained in the theater, Alexandra Liedtke seems to have limited understanding of Saint-Saëns’ music and even less about Lemaire’s libretto. As is often the case when a regisseur feels their genius may be unappreciated, Liedtke chose {…}

Deutsche Oper Berlin 2017-18 Review – Rigoletto: Zeljko Lucic To The Rescue In Muddled Jan Bosse Production

The Deutsche Oper Berlin had a problem for its final presentation of “Rigoletto” on Thursday night. The baritone Markus Bruck was forced to cancel around noon that day from his scheduled appearance in the title role. Fortunately, the company had a tremendous solution at hand. The Serbian baritone Zeljko Lucic was available since he was present to perform in “Nabucco” {…}