A Coast to Coast Selection of “Middle Verdi” Operas April – September 2012

The year 2013 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi (as well as the bicentennial of the great German opera composer Richard Wagner). Opera companies throughout the world are creating new productions or brushing off their older productions of Verdi and Wagner operas. I have argued for … Read more

The Festivities of the Santa Fe Opera Festival: An Interview with Joyce Idema

Wm: Although I work with the press offices of all of the opera companies whose performances I review, and in the arrangement of interviews with particular artists, I have never posted an interview with an opera company press officer. As part of my occasional series on opera festivals, which includes reports on the Santa Fe … Read more

Review: Handel’s “Rinaldo” in Chicago – Francisco Negrin’s Finely Sung, Fun-filled Fantasy – Lyric Opera, March 16, 2012

Torquato Tasso’s elegant poem Jerusalem Delivered ostensibly recounts historical events relating to the First Crusade at the turn of the 12th century, which attempted to forestall the Fall of the Byzantine  Empire and especially the fall of the holy city of Jerusalem to the Ottomon Turks. In some of the actual battles associated with this effort, … Read more

Review: An Admirable “Aida”: Hui He, Berti, Smirnova, Kelsey Are Impressive – Lyric Opera of Chicago, March 15, 2012

The Lyric Opera of Chicago, which owns Nicolas Joel’s classic 1983 production (created for Luciano Pavarotti) of Verdi’s “Aida” revived it for the first time in eight years for a “February” and a “March” cast. The latter was the occasion for the first Chicago performances by the Chinese soprano Hui He in the title role … Read more

Review: Team Zambello Shows off “Show Boat” to Chicago’s Lyric Opera – March 14, 2012

Lyric Opera became the first stop of a new production of the venerable 1927 American musical “Show Boat”, whose music is by Jerome Kern and libretto by Roger Hammerstein. A co-production of four major American opera companies, the Show Boat sails next to Houston Grand Opera in January 2013, then Washington National Opera in May … Read more