Teatro Olimpico Review 2017 – L’Orfeo: Strong Singing & Gorgeous Theater Deliver Memorable Evening

No apologies are made for starting this review of Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo” with a description of the venue, Vicenza’s Teatro Olimpico, which must count as one of the world’s most beautiful and architectural significant theatres. Designed by Palladio in 1580, it was described by Goethe as “a theatre based on the ancient model, but in small proportions and indescribably beautiful…”. Palladio {…}

Tanglewood Music Festival 2017 Review: Kristine Opolais, Bryn Terfel, & Andris Nelsons’ Combined Musical Genius Leaves Us Wondering What Could Have Been

On August 26, 2017, the Tanglewood Music Festival continued with an opera gala featuring Kristine Opolais and Bryn Terfel. Andris Nelsons conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a performance that featured the second act of Puccini’s “Tosca” and a number of arias from “Porgy and Bess” and other opera classics. The results were delightful and they showcased two artists at {…}

La Fenice 2017 Review – Madama Butterfly: Unique Production & Fascinating Soprano Lift Puccini’s Masterwork to New Heights

“Madama Butterfly”, a perennial favorite with the opera-going public, seems to be, for good or ill, immune to large-scale meddling from directors attempting to impose their own reading on, what is by opera standards, a well-known story. Rarely do productions step outside late 19th/early 20th century Japan, replete with kanzashi hairstyles, colorful kimonos and obi, houses with paper walls adorned {…}

Salzburg Festival 2017 Review – Aida: Anna Netrebko, Riccardo Muti Create Glorious Music In Light of Pointless Production

Salzburg Festival is about luxury. The audience is filled with celebrities, the casts are filled with stars, and the (relatively) higher priced tickets, all show its luxury. Yet, what defines its luxury, for me, is its long rehearsal period. When Anna Netrebko said in an interview how she wanted more rehearsals and Riccardo Muti said “preparing an opera the way {…}

Arena di Verona 2017 Review – Nabucco: Risorgimento Setting Lifted By Mesmerizing Vocal Artistry

This review is for the performance on August 4, 2017 and was written in collaboration with Editor-in-Chief David Salazar. “Va pensiero,” the famous chorus from Verdi’s “Nabucco” is often cited as an unofficial national anthem for Italy and proved as such throughout the Risorgimento when the country was battling for its independence from the Austrian Empire. The choral passage, with {…}