Tom’s Review: German Birds Fly High at Los Angeles Opera in Braunfels’ Rarely Seen “The Birds”, April 23, 2009

Los Angeles’ super-genius film-maker Alfred Hitchcock released flocks of aggressive birds in his renowned and justly famed film “The Birds” upon startled and unsuspecting film-goers decades ago, but now Los Angeles Opera has released very exotic birds of its own in their new production of German composer Walter Braunfels (1882-1954) opera “The Birds (Die Voegel)” … Read more

Review: Michael Schade, Nmon Ford, Gabriele Frola Brilliant in Hamburg’s New “Death in Venice”, April 19, 2009

Hamburg Staatsoper’s general director Simone Young continues on her cycle of new productions of Benjamin Britten’s works, that has previously included “Billy Budd” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Her third new production is “Death in Venice”,  a co-production with the Volkskoper Vienna, where it will be mounted subsequently. For the opera’s lead, Gustav von Aschenbach, Young had … Read more

Review: Sonic Splendor – Domingo, Conlon Lead Impressively Sung, Engaging “Walküre” for Los Angeles Opera, April 12, 2009

At Los Angeles Opera, the buzz was Achim Freyer’s often mysterious staging of “Die Walküre”,  the second of the four operas of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (for my review of the first of the “Ring”, see: Achim Freyer’s Fascinating “Rheingold” Begins L. A. “Ring” – March 11, 2009.) But, beyond the buzz about the production, … Read more

Tom’s Review: Vivaldi’s Revenge for Montezuma – 30 Year Old Long Beach Opera Mounts American Premiere of “Motezuma” – March 28, 2009

Every once-in-a-while some long lost masterpiece-manuscript of a great composer’s music is remarkably re-discovered, usually in some long-forgotten, dusty attic. So it happened in with an epic-opera by the great Antonio Vivaldi (Italian 1678-1741 – think his Four Seasons heard almost daily on every classical music radio station in the world!!!), which is receiving its … Read more