Review:”Lulu” at the Lyric – Chicago, November 19, 2008

The Lyric Opera of Chicago mounted a new production of Alban Berg’s “Lulu”, under the direction of Paul Curran. Last season the Scottish Director developed Lyric Opera’s production of Richard Strauss’ “Die Frau ohne Schatten” and has established himself as an advocate for Benjamin Britten’s operas in the United States at the Santa Fe and Central City … Read more

Review: The Donizetti Revival, Second Stage: Radvanovsky, Grigolo in Pascoe’s “Lucrezia Borgia” – Washington National Opera, November 17, 2008

The middle of the 20th century was an exciting time for those curious about the Italian bel canto operatic masterpieces of Gaetano Donizetti. First Maria Callas and then Leyla Gencer, Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballe and Beverly Sills used their stardom to advance the cause of Donizetti’s dramatic operas. I myself saw Caballe as Elisabetta in … Read more

Review: The Zambello “Porgy and Bess” An Historic Success at Chicago’s Lyric,November 18, 2008

Chicago’s civic pride in the ascension of a hometown African-American family to the world stage has created intense interest in the most famous opera about an African-American community. Two weeks after President-Elect Barack Obama’s victory celebration at Chicago’s Grant Park, the Lyric Opera added Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” to its performance history. The community interest … Read more

Review: Vargas Shines Bright in Stellar “L’Elisir d’Amore” – San Francisco Opera, November 9, 2008

Until the late 1960s, San Francisco Opera paid scant attention to Donizetti’s great romantic comic opera, “L’Elisir d’Amore”, having had only three performances of the opera in San Francisco in the first 44 seasons of the company’s history.  (If this seems incredible for an international house led for its first 30 years by an Italian-born … Read more