Reviews

The ever-relevant classic: ROH's Marriage of Figaro

The ever-relevant classic: ROH's Marriage of Figaro

Somehow, though now over two hundred years old, it maintains a certain freshness. Even a standard production like this 2006 David McVicar classic which this season sees its sixth revival run at the Royal Opera, still feels relevant.

Alessia Naccarato
Bring your tissues to DMMO's La bohème

Bring your tissues to DMMO's La bohème

The main factor that makes or breaks a production of La bohème is the cast. The six lead characters must have comedic timing, dramatic chops, and believable chemistry. This opera is so popular precisely because all the characters are realistic and likeable.

Meghan Klinkenborg
Don't let the upbeat tunes deceive you: DMMO's Candide

Don't let the upbeat tunes deceive you: DMMO's Candide

If you're looking for a theatrical farce that will leave you with a lot of questions about the human condition, then look no further than Des Moines Metro Opera's charming production of Candide.

Meghan Klinkenborg
All that glitters: WTO's magical double-bill

All that glitters: WTO's magical double-bill

Jonathan Knipscher designed glorious costumes across the board - Merlin's sequined suit, sequined tracksuit, sequined capes for the mermaids… Basically a lot of sequins that were complemented by shimmery curtains designed by Julia Noulin-Mérat.

Callie Cooper
NEMPAC's innocent, affecting, slightly uneven Little Prince

NEMPAC's innocent, affecting, slightly uneven Little Prince

One may ask oneself if the hyper-tonal, rather simplistic harmonic and melodic language of the source is perhaps too accessible for opera, but in my case I am not so certain it could have been done any other way.

Arturo Fernandez
When it's not about the music per se

When it's not about the music per se

It’s a truly original idea. Two performers (a mezzo soprano and baritone,) portraying two sides of the same coin: a transgender character named Hannah. Born a boy and dressed like a boy in sneakers and a letterman jacket, Hannah (in the baritone phase of their life) secretly wears a blouse underneath because “it feels so right,” as they deliver their newspapers on a paper route.

Loren Lester
Reliably bubbly Belle Hélène a delight

Reliably bubbly Belle Hélène a delight

But even with the small missteps, Odyssey Opera once again hit a home run. La Belle Hélène is that rare Offenbach operetta that doesn’t necessarily run like a clockwork mouse in terms of efficiency, but with the right cast it can still prove to be a fun, lighthearted evening at the opera.

Arturo Fernandez
BEMF Orlando a dazzlingly performed spectacle

BEMF Orlando a dazzlingly performed spectacle

As messy as the plot of Orlando is, this approach worked for this opera just as well as it has in previous seasons, and the result was rather a joy to watch that it became rather easy to turn the brain off and just enjoy the opera as it is.

Arturo Fernandez
No Explanation Needed

No Explanation Needed

Opera composers who write their own libretti are rare and with good reason. Musicians train in the land of notes and chords but structuring a good piece of theatre requires a different skill set. In the case of The Impossible She, presented by Rhymes with Opera (as part of the New York Opera Fest) composer Daniel Thomas Davis should have stuck with what he does best.

Loren Lester
Great stars & great direction: Andrea Chenier at ROH

Great stars & great direction: Andrea Chenier at ROH

It is an increasingly rare occasion to feel moved in the way I was watching this performance when I go to the opera now. Perhaps I'm spoiled; too much of a good thing, and all that.

Alessia Naccarato

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