Reviews

Marian's Song: a poignant, hopeful message

Marian's Song: a poignant, hopeful message

Some variant of this sentence appears in many a history textbook at some point, but only rarely can it hope to make the sheer impact that Marian's Song did in Houston Grand Opera's world premiere performance.

Andrew Schneider
An enduring Beethoven's Ninth with the Vancouver Academy of Music

An enduring Beethoven's Ninth with the Vancouver Academy of Music

Under the assured baton of conductor emeritus Leslie Dala, the program brought together the young professional-level orchestra with the veteran vocals of amateur Vancouver Bach Choir, along with four professional soloists, and featured a delightful performance of Concerto No. 4 by Ian Parker at the keys

Sam Darling
Agrippina and the elephants in the room

Agrippina and the elephants in the room

This production doesn’t need that dumpster fire when it can rummage through an abundance of its own trash. Quite simply the elephant is an acknowledgment that bad behavior by people in power is timeless.

John Hohmann
Solid & simple Così fan tutte from English Touring Opera

Solid & simple Così fan tutte from English Touring Opera

This performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte marks the start of English Touring Opera’s spring tour which will also feature Handel’s Giulio Cesare as well as Bach’s St. John Passion in an impressive eighteen cities across the country. ETO’s extensive tours are the direct result of their clear mandate which is to bring accessible opera to cities and theatres across England where it would otherwise not be performed.

Alessia Naccarato
How to Fail as a Popstar: a cautionary tale

How to Fail as a Popstar: a cautionary tale

Amid performing arts circles, regardless of genre, it's almost too raw for someone who hasn't "made it" to discuss why they "failed". It's easy for us to digest wistful stories of bad producers or embarrassing live shows when they come from the super-famous, like the humbling anecdotes offered to fans by the Taylor Swifts and Lady Gagas of the world.

Jenna Simeonov
Well-cast vignettes in POV's Flight

Well-cast vignettes in POV's Flight

In Flight, the characters arrive at the airport one by one, en route to their various destinations, and bringing their various problems with them. As all flights are cancelled due to a huge storm, and the passengers are stranded in the airport, their problems come to the forefront and are highlighted by each character in turn.

Melissa Ratcliff
Jacqueline: Come for the music, stay for everything else

Jacqueline: Come for the music, stay for everything else

The opera provides two alternative voices to reveal the complexities of du Pré's personhood; music written for the voice in a way reveals her public personality, along with hear-say gathered from relationships and journals, while music written for the cello presents a quieter inner voice, the private room of her spiritual thoughts.

Michael Zarathus-Cook
A bubble-gum sweet Barber in Vancouver

A bubble-gum sweet Barber in Vancouver

Edward Nelson as the eponymous Barber was absolutely phenomenal. Commanding the stage from the moment he arrived, his rendition of "Largo al factotum" couldn’t have been better. Working the stage and the audience, he was absolutely charming, and even took the final verse at breakneck speed, all without missing a single note.

Melissa Ratcliff
Timely & fascinating: Minnesota Bach Society presents Motezuma

Timely & fascinating: Minnesota Bach Society presents Motezuma

It is a timely repertoire choice, not only because of the plot's exploration of the Spaniards' conquering of the Aztec people, but because last year was the 500th anniversary of the conflict. Before the opera began, the Mexican consulate spoke giving historical context to the evening.

Callie Cooper
Wozzeck: The Full Kentridge and Beyond

Wozzeck: The Full Kentridge and Beyond

Whether as an artfully conceived full production, one taking place on the lip of a stage or a performance existing only in our ears and imagination, Wozzeck is a keeper.

John Hohmann

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