American Orpheus: An Interview with William Burden

The following interview was conducted within the administrative offices of the Seattle Opera, whose facilitation of this interview is deeply appreciated: Wm: What were your earliest memories of operatic music? What led you to pursue vocal studies and an operatic career? WB: My earliest operatic memories were from the Miami Boychoir, in Miami, Florida. We … Read more

Review: Verdi-Year “Nabucco” – Leo An, Csilla Boross Are Magnificent in Inventive Production – Washington National Opera, May 15, 2012

On my most recent previous visit (2010) to the Kennedy Center for a Washington National Opera performance, I witnessed the revival of a Thaddeus Strassberger production of Thomas’ “Hamlet”, borrowed from another company and conducted by Placido Domingo. In that performance, South Korean baritone Leo An sang a comprimario role [see my review at  Michael … Read more

Review: Francesco Meli, Sonia Ganassi in Theatrically Absorbing “Werther” – Washington National Opera, May 14, 2012

Two Italian artists – lyric tenor Francesco Meli and mezzo-soprano Sonia Ganassi – are respectively Werther and Charlotte in their Washington National Opera debut roles. The production of Massenet’s “Werther” in which they appeared was originally created for Opera Australia (1989) and is presently owned by Opera de Montreal with new costumes by Barila. “Werther” … Read more

Review: “Orphée” at the Lobero – José Maria Condemi, Opera Santa Barbara, Mount Gluck’s Masterpiece in Intimate Venue – April 29, 2012

“Orphée et Eurydice”, the augmented French version of Gluck’s “Orfeo”, redesigned for Marie Antoinette’s Paris, has much to offer a 21st century audience, particularly the abundance of melody. It also is a practical offering for budget-challenged opera companies. Layna Chianakas’ Orphée and Marnie Breckenridge’s Eurydice Opera Santa Barbara was able to  mount the production, which requires … Read more