Review: Michael Chioldi, Micaela Oeste Enrich Washington National Opera’s Theatrically Absorbing “Hamlet” – May 22, 2010

When the Washington National Opera announced its first performances ever of Ambroise Thomas’ “Hamlet”, it seemed on paper an extraordinarily star-studded endeavor, with Carlos Alvarez as Hamlet, Diana Damrau as Ophelie and Placido Domingo conducting. Then the production came to seem star-crossed, with Alvarez withdrawing, a pregnant Damrau bowing out, and Domingo cutting back performances … Read more

A Wagner Summer in the Golden West – 2010

Even in a period when economic realities have forced opera companies to cut back on plans, the West Coast continues the extraordinarily ambitious mountings of Wagner’s major works. A year ago, we highlighted upcoming performances of Wagner’s “Ring” in our feature California Rings Up Wagner – 2009-2010. A similar feature in the previous year also included … Read more

Review: The Donizetti Revival, Second Stage – Stephen Lawless’ “Maria Stuarda” in Toronto – Canadian Opera Company, May 4, 2010

The Dallas Opera commissioned the team of Director Stephen Lawless and Belgian set designer Benoit Dugardyn to create three new productions around operas now known as the Donizetti “Tudor Trilogy”. Two of the three productions have been mounted – “Maria Stuarda” in Dallas in 2008 (here revived by the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto) and … Read more

Review: “Xerxes” Unexcelled – Houston Grand Opera, May, 2, 2010

Strong bonds have developed between Houston Grand Opera and the opera community of Great Britain – from whence HGO’s general director Anthony Freud, OBE, came. These bonds were further evident with the importation of one of the English National Opera’s most celebrated Handel productions, under the musical leadership of British conductor William Lacey. Performed uncut … Read more