Review: Racette, Ventre Impress in Zambello-Inspired “Butterfly” at San Diego Opera- May 20, 2009

Over the past three years, I have reviewed productions of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” – San Francisco Opera’s reconceptualization of Ron Daniels/Michael Yeargan’s production (2006 and 2007), Moffat Oxenbould’s Opera Australia production presented by the Pittsburgh Opera (2007) and the revival of Robert Wilson’s production (based on his original work at Opera National de Paris) for … Read more

Review: A New Verdian Golden Age? – Poplavskaya, Giordano in Elegant Agostinucci “Traviata”- Los Angeles Opera, May 21, 2009

This reviewer in recent weeks has expressed a high degree of optimism about the state of contemporary Verdi singing both in the United States and Europe. (The fact that most of the best singers are engaged by the major companies of both Europe and the United States means that if one observes excellent performances in … Read more

California Rings Up Wagner – 2009-2010

During a 12 month period in 2007 and 2008, California’s three major opera companies each created a production of Wagner’s “Tannhauser”. In the period between Summer 2008 and Summer 2011, the companies of San Francisco and Los Angeles are absorbed in producing the four operas of Wagner’s “Ring des Nibelungen”. San Francisco’s effort was planned to … Read more

Tom’s Review: Anthony Dean Griffey Wows San Diego In a Riveting “Peter Grimes” – April 24, 2009

San Diego Opera had only presented Benjamin Britten’s ultimate masterpiece “Peter Grimes” in one previous season, 25 years ago. Its revival, again utilizing Carl Toms’ sets, returned for the 2009 Season, hugely enriched with American lyric tenor Anthony Dean Griffey. More than  “starring” as Peter Grimes, Griffey dynamically personalized this gritty role, living it and … Read more

Review: Power Verdi – Chanev, Marambio, Ataneli in Deutsche Oper Berlin “Ballo”, April 25, 2009

On this Spring’s trip to Northern Germany, I was able to sample the fare at three opera houses. My comments on the  performances attended at Hamburg Staatsoper and Berlin Staatsoper have been posted previously. The third company visitied was the venerable Deutsche Oper Berlin, which I found of particular interest. I attended just one performance … Read more