Review: Vittorio Grigolo, Nino Machaidze Sublime in Ian Judge’s Romantic, Erotic “Roméo et Juliette” – Los Angeles Opera, November 9, 2011

In 1868, the hottest ticket in Europe was the premiere of Charles Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette”, at Paris’ Theatre Lyrique on the Seine’s East Bank (just a few hundred feet West from where the present Theatre du Chatelet is located). It was one of the most successful opening nights of any opera in history, with … Read more

Review: Kendall Gladen, Jose Maria Condemi, Nicola Luisotti Create a Consummate “Carmen” – San Francisco Opera, November 6, 2011

Five years ago, Bizet’s “Carmen” was presented by San Francisco Opera, in the classic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production (See my review at Halevy Triumphs in Ponnelle “Carmen” – S. F. December 3, 2006). Mezzo-soprano Kendall Gladen, then an Adler Fellow, the highest level of the San Francisco Opera Young Artists’ programs, was the Mercedes, the comprimario mezzo … Read more

Review: Graham, Daniels, Prina Excel in Elegant, Witty “Xerxes” – San Francisco Opera, October 30, 2011

Since I am on record as proposing that Sir Nicholas Hytner’s physical production of Handel’s “Xerxes” for London’s English National Opera be included on a list of “world treasures”, no one should be surprised at my high regard for San Francisco Opera’s  presentation of Hytner’s conceptualization. I had reported last year on the production’s revival for … Read more