An Interview with Conductor James Conlon, Part 1

This interview was conducted in Maestro Conlon’s office at the Los Angeles Opera, whose facilitation is gratefully acknowledged: ***** [Below: Maestro James Conlon; resized image, based on a photograph, courtesy of the Los Angeles Opera.] Wm: Many of the American vocal artists I have interviewed did not choose musical careers until well into their college … Read more

Review: Strong Cast for Peter Sellars’ Reconceptualization of Handel’s “Hercules” – Lyric Opera of Chicago, March 16, 2011

In Greek mythology, as told us by Ovid and by Sophocles in his play The Women of Trachis, the centaur Nessos raped Hercules’ second wife, Dejanira, and Hercules mortally wounded Nessos in revenge. The dying centaur tricked Dejanira into believing that if she saved his blood, it could be re-used as a kind of love … Read more

Review: Krasteva, Jovanovich Sizzle in Chicago “Carmen” – Lyric Opera, March 15, 2011

Lyric Opera scheduled two runs of Bizet’s “Carmen” for its 2010-2011 season, in October and in March. The March performances paired the Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Nadia Krasteva as Carmen with American tenor Brandon Jovanovich as Don Jose. At this stage of their careers, both assignments are signature roles for the two artists. I have previously remarked … Read more

Review: Countdown to Britten Centennial – Conlon, Racette and Burden Impress in Enigmatic “Turn of the Screw” – Los Angeles Opera, March 12, 2011

The Los Angeles Opera is only mounting six mainstage operas for its 2010-11 season, but of these six the company mounted works by three composers whose bicentennial or centennial years will be celebrated in 2013. Wagner and Verdi were represented by popular core works, respectively “Lohengrin” and “Rigoletto”, but to honor Britten, L. A. Opera … Read more