Review: Yonghoon Lee’s Calaf Tames Theorin’s Time-Traveling Turandot – Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, November 28, 2012

Bayerische Staatsoper has revived its spectacular production of Puccini’s “Turandot”, first seen in Munich in December 2011, which Spanish Concept Director Carlus Padrissa resets into the year 2046. [Below: Director Carlus Padrissa; edited image, based on a photograph from] In this fifth decade of the 21st century of Padrissa’s imagination, Chinese bond dealers, having taken advantage … Read more

Review: Gens, Kaiser Impress in Christof Loy’s Mounting of Gluck’s “Alceste” – Vienna Staatsoper, November 26, 2012

Gluck’s French operatic masterpieces challenge production designers and stage directors, who are seeking to mount the works in ways that can be appreciated by 21st century audiences. In 2009, I had reported on Mexican Director’s Francisco Negrin’s ideas for Gluck’s “Alceste” at the Santa Fe Opera Festival, in which exoticism in costumes and dance styles … Read more

Review: Marco Arturo Marelli’s Mirth-Filled Mozart – “Hochzeit des Figaro” at the Vienna Volksoper, November 25, 2012

Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” is the longest running smash hit in the standard operatic repertory, as witty, hilariously funny, and beautifully written as any musical composition ever designed for performance. It is a source of wonder that throughout its 226 years of existence up to the present day, opera goers can attend performances multiple … Read more

Review: Ruxandra Donose, Adam Diegel Are Dramatically Convincing in Calixto Bielto’s Sexy, Edgy “Carmen” – English National Opera, November 21, 2012

An enduring operatic myth is that Bizet’s “Carmen” was initially a failure. The myth evolved because the clinically depressed, mortally ill Georges Bizet refused to accept the manifest evidence that the opera from its very first performance  had become a wild Parisian hit, its composer preferring to dwell on the admonitions of certain curmudgeonly critics who … Read more

Tom’s Review: Sparkling, Fresh New “Butterfly” Alights at Los Angeles Opera – November 17, 2012

A Review by Tom Rubbert A cold, rainy night did not dampen the spirits of the excited full-house seeing Los Angeles Opera’s opening night performance of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”. The house was treated to a superbly crafted evening of glorious music very aptly conducted by Grant Gershon, whose experience as L. A. Opera’s long time chorus … Read more