Reviews

Cuervo's "sophisticated, lyric" Frida in Atlanta

Cuervo's "sophisticated, lyric" Frida in Atlanta

Frida and Diego encounter many struggles, the communist revolution turning against Diego, the pair travelling to New York, their struggle to carry a pregnancy to full term, and their return to Mexico, which led to Diego’s many affairs.

Daniel Weisman
Luisa Miller a "superbly shaped" start to Chicago's early Verdi venture

Luisa Miller a "superbly shaped" start to Chicago's early Verdi venture

While in the first act, the singers interacted awkwardly, with little to no dramatic commitment to their movements or singing, in the final moments of the show, the principals all rose to the occasion, singing and acting with dramatic impetus that temporarily stopped time.

Michael Pecak
A star soprano and a stellar debut in Oper Frankfurt's Manon Lescaut

A star soprano and a stellar debut in Oper Frankfurt's Manon Lescaut

In Puccini's anodyne libretto however, des Grieux and Manon become unwitting martyrs. Des Grieux's self-pity is sublimated into hopeless romanticism too pure for a cruel world. Manon, mercurial and unparsable in the novella, is given a clearly defined voice and a straight-forward moral compass.

Jeremy Hirsch
A Tosca found wanting in Virginia Opera's production

A Tosca found wanting in Virginia Opera's production

In general, tempos throughout the performance were sluggish, particularly in the first act. The love duet plodded along and the Te Deum was agonizingly slow, as was Mario's third act aria "e lucevan le stelle."

Molly Simoneau
Greek tragedy meets Sunset Boulevard: Minnesota Opera's new Elektra

Greek tragedy meets Sunset Boulevard: Minnesota Opera's new Elektra

With all these different uses of the one dramatic tool, the creative team certainly believed in the effectiveness of the medium. I think it could have been trimmed a bit, because it distracted from the artists on stage.

Callie Cooper
Immersed and captivated by AtG's Bohème in Winnipeg

Immersed and captivated by AtG's Bohème in Winnipeg

Ivany told me that there are always audience members at these performances for whom opera is a new experience, and I think bringing opera to new audiences in this manner is a fantastic idea.

Neil Weisensel
"Transladapted" Bohème offers fresh, intimate production for national tour

"Transladapted" Bohème offers fresh, intimate production for national tour

At the same time, the limited set design accentuates the quality of the music to tell the story of La bohème, from the virtuosic one-man orchestra in pianist David Eliakis, to the cast. And in a smaller space, the story becomes even more intimate and heart-wrenching.

Oliver Munar
Brownlee headlines season opener in Chicago

Brownlee headlines season opener in Chicago

While his vocal brilliance was not at all a surprise, Lawrence Brownlee's spirited stage antics were a consistent delight throughout the evening. Known for virtuosically ornamenting the already-florid lines of his bel canto repertoire, Brownlee seemed to be playing it safe on Saturday night, despite sounding in fantastic voice.

Hannah De Priest
Pagliacci alone makes festive, shocking season opener

Pagliacci alone makes festive, shocking season opener

This, combined with a note-complete love duet, was enough for the production to justify the bells and whistles of its carnival pre-show, and I found myself not wanting for Pagliacci's much-beloved double-bill partner Cavalleria rusticana.

Arturo Fernandez
Grand, if overlong, Henry VIII

Grand, if overlong, Henry VIII

Of course, when the music found its dramatic stride, Saint-Saëns could deliver the drama in spades.The septet (actually an octet) that closed Act II made me wonder why it was cut to begin with, for it's the perfect musical climax to the second act.

Arturo Fernandez

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