Review: Mizrahi’s Charming “Magic Flute” Production Opens OTSL 2014 Season – St Louis, May 24, 2014

Fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi created the staging, costumes and mise-en-scéne for a new production of Mozart’s comedy “The Magic Flute”. Mizrahi’s “Flute” opened the 2014 season of the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, incorporating the brilliant dance routines of Alaskan choreographer John Heginbotham. [Below: Fashion designer and “Magic Flute” production designer Isaac Mizrahi; resized image of a … Read more

Review: A Theatrically Brilliant “Streetcar Named Desire” Stars Fleming, McKinny, Tappan and Griffey – Los Angeles Opera, May 18, 2014

The Los Angeles Opera mounted André Previn’s 1998 opera based on Tennessee Williams’ dramatic masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire, Presented in Director Brad Dalton’s stunningly effective staging, it starred soprano Renée Fleming as Blanche DuBois in the role she created 16 years earlier at the San Francisco Opera. [Below: Renée Fleming as Blanche DuBois, with the Los Angeles … Read more

Review: Placido Domingo, Nino Machaidze In a Triumphant “Thaïs” – Los Angeles Opera, May 17, 2014

Anatole France’s 1890 novel about the life of the historical Saint Thaïs, proved an irresistible subject to French composer Jules Massenet. The novel yielded two vividly drawn operatic characters. The first was Thaïs, a courtesan who lived in fifth century Alexandria, Egypt, but who renounced the sins of the world to seek eternal life. The … Read more

Review: A Rousing “Le Roi d’Ys” at Opera de Marseille – May 10, 2014

Edoard Lalo’s epic opera on a Breton myth – “Le Roi d”Ys” – has been missing from the core operatic repertory for decades. In America, it is basically unknown. Those opera-goers who think of it at all likely have recordings of Mylio’s enchanting aria Vainement, ma bien-aimée, and perhaps of the massive overture. There has not been … Read more

Review: Osborn, Meade and Jenis in Graham Vick’s Mounting of “Guglielmo Tell” – Teatro Regio Torino, May 7, 2014

The Rossini festival in Pesaro, Italy, which has dedicated many years of scholarship to developing authentic scores of Rossini operas, commissioned a new Graham Vick production of the Italian version of Rossini’s final opera, “Guglielmo Tell”. (I had seen the French version – “Guillaume Tell” – twice at San Francisco Opera in the 1990s, from … Read more