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Karen Chia-Ling Ho's 'star-making' performance in BLO's thoughtful Madama Butterfly

Karen Chia-Ling Ho's 'star-making' performance in BLO's thoughtful Madama Butterfly

It is effectively trading one overdone opera death for another, but I think this decision to change who dies at the end of the story is still one of the most brilliant aspects of the production.

Arturo Fernandez
An absolute triumph of comedy: DMMO's Love for Three Oranges

An absolute triumph of comedy: DMMO's Love for Three Oranges

Every scene was controlled chaos, and despite the insanity onstage, I couldn't look away.

Meghan Klinkenborg
DMMO's The Falling and the Rising forces you to feel

DMMO's The Falling and the Rising forces you to feel

While this contemporary work has had several productions in recent years, these two performances are the first to take place on an active military base, a location that makes the touching story all the more poignant.

Meghan Klinkenborg
Sharing the burden: dwb (driving while black)

Sharing the burden: dwb (driving while black)

White audience members were challenged to confront the discomfort brought on by the opera and the discussion, to sit with the trauma as black individuals must each and every day.

Meghan Klinkenborg
Dark romance & psychological horror in Des Moines Metro Opera's Bluebeard

Dark romance & psychological horror in Des Moines Metro Opera's Bluebeard

Des Moines Metro Opera's cutting edge production of Bluebeard's Castle breathed new life into an underrated opera, blending the digital and traditional in a seamless immersive display.

Meghan Klinkenborg
Des Moines Metro Opera offers musically triumphant Carmen

Des Moines Metro Opera offers musically triumphant Carmen

Carmen is an audience favorite for a reason, so why change what already works? The historical setting is familiar and expected, but the themes of this passionate tale still hit hard.

Meghan Klinkenborg
Highway 1, U.S.A and Down in the Valley: Unearthing Americana

Highway 1, U.S.A and Down in the Valley: Unearthing Americana

The relationship between Bob, Mary and Nate is completely convincing thanks to the outstanding performances of Mr. McNichols Jr., Ms. Crump and Mr. Morgans, respectively. Their voices are ascendant; they master both the height and width necessary for composer Still's score.

Loren Lester
Pretty poison: Lucrezia Borgia at New Amsterdam Opera

Pretty poison: Lucrezia Borgia at New Amsterdam Opera

New Amsterdam presents works in a concert-style, with performers at music stands, and the only staging is the exits and entrances of principals who are in each scene. This leaves them free to invest donors' dollars in the music and that certainly pays dividends to the audience.

Loren Lester
Vancouver Opera sails away in The Flying Dutchman

Vancouver Opera sails away in The Flying Dutchman

Dahl's portrayal is filled to the brim with tension and menace. He never truly believes that he will be free from his curse, and his torment is relentless, which helps carry the tension of the entire show. Vocally, Dahl for formidable and dark, bringing a vocal power that lent authority to his character's plight.

Melissa Ratcliff
North Shore's genderbent panto Iolanthe

North Shore's genderbent panto Iolanthe

This production, under the direction of up-and-coming stage director Robin Hahn, is a refreshing departure from the 'prim British Aristocrats meet dainty fairies' that you would expect. Instead, this production has drag fairy queens, gender-bent High Chancellors and Lords, queer romance, and fairy selfies.

Melissa Ratcliff

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