Carnegie Hall 2017-18 Review: Contrasts Delight The Mind And Heart With Antonio Pappano & Barbara Hannigan

On Saturday, Oct. 21, Sir Antonio Pappano, soprano Barbara Hannigan, and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome) presented an impressive program with two pieces from opposite ends of the musical spectrum. The world-class orchestra, combined with Pappano’s infectious energy, brought the hall to life. It has become common practice among orchestras to mix up the evening by programming {…}

Teatro Real De Madrid 2017-18 Review – Carmen: Calixto Bieito’s Vision Gains Relevancy in Spain’s Current Tumultuous Times

This marked my third time traveling to Madrid. What made this one unique was the number of Spanish flags in neighborhoods in the capital – a result of recent events in which autonomous Catalonia is seeking independence. That political backdrop brought further relevance to Calixto Bieito’s production of “Carmen,” seen at the beautiful Teatro Real on Thursday night. It’s a {…}

Opernhaus Zürich 2017-18 Review – Tosca: Anja Harteros’ Star Power the Driving Force In Carsen’s Production

Anja Harteros. Anja Harteros. Anja Harteros. Yes, reading that isn’t very interesting. Listening to her and experiencing her is quite a different story. The German soprano was nothing short of sensational on a starry Saturday opening night of a revival of the Robert Carsen production of “Tosca” at the Zurich Opera. It was recently reported that Harteros has stopped singing {…}

Amore Opera 2017-18 Review – Tosca: Jose Heredia and Dilara Unsal Ozkan Prove Themselves a Power Couple

Hidden within the Riverside Church on Clairemont avenue is the Riverside Theatre, this is where the production company Amore Opera has set the stage for its production of Puccini’s “Tosca.” Just as the opera itself grapples with love, jealousy, and what lies beneath the surface of facades, Amore Opera’s production has faithfully upheld these themes through the artistry of the {…}

Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Review – Norma: Marina Rebeka Makes Powerful Impression Alongside Joyce DiDonato, Joseph Calleja in New Met Production

This is a review for the Oct. 20 performance. I would like to begin this review at the end, since the final impressions, sensations and overall reaction of the audience is the barometer which measures the overall impact of the performance.   In the case of this “Norma,” the final curtain was greeted with a massive explosion of applause in the {…}

Metropolitan Opera 2017-18 Review – Turandot: James Morris Tribute Takes Centerstage in Overall Uneven Performance of Puccini’s Final Masterpiece

Occasionally music history has strange coincidences where a famous composer is unable to finish his final work. This is particularly strange when the final work has something to do with death. Consider Mozart who died writing a requiem.  Likewise, Giacomo Puccini succumbed to lung cancer before completing “Turandot.”  The last piece he wrote was the funeral march for the slave {…}

Deutsche Oper Am Rhein 2017-18 Review – La Cenerentola: Winning Ensemble Cast in Classic Ponnelle Production Remains Pleasing to Audiences

The story of “Cinderella” is one told in many iterations and for good reasons. It’s a feel-good story that is certainly uplifting during trying times. The well-traveled Jean-Pierre Ponnelle version of Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” made a stop this past Sunday at Deutsche Oper Am Rhein in Dusseldorf and it’s not often you witness as many ovations in the opera house {…}

Oper Köln 2017-18 Review – Tannhäuser: Pomeroy Shines in Production Memorable For Creative Use of Converted Space

Opinions on regietheater can be quite divided although anyone with a negative one should have a level of understanding for what Oper Köln is currently undergoing. The company’s opera house, located in the center of the city in the square named for native son Jacques Offenbach, is currently being renovated. That has required Oper Köln to shift to several locations {…}