Review: Joyce DiDonato is Vocally and Dramatically Convincing in Donizetti’s “Maria Stuarda” – Houston Grand Opera, April 27, 2012

Houston Grand Opera, earlier this month premiered Verdi’s “Don Carlos”, based on German dramatist Friedrich Schiller’s late 18th century play about interpersonal conflicts within the Spanish royal family during the period of the 16th century Catholic Inquisition. The opera company’s next offering was Donizetti’s “Maria Stuarda”  an opera from three decades earlier, itself based on … Read more

Coast to Coast Selections of Donizetti and Early Verdi Opera Performances

As noted in other postings in this “Quests and Anticipations” series, I prefer to segment the operas of the most famous 19th century Italian composers in a non-traditional way: (1) those of Rossini and Bellini, (2) those of Donizetti and early Verdi (i.e, those of the tw0 decades of Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena” and Verdi’s “Stiffelio”), … Read more

Review: Meachem, Osborn, Tro Santafe Lead a Joyous “Barber” – San Diego Opera, April 21, 2012

Only a few years ago, one could expect to see a marked difference in the quality of singing and production values between regional operas houses and the  big “international” companies, but the current abundance of excellent opera performers (combining first rate vocal ability with acting skills) and the investment of many regional opera companies in … Read more