Review: True Verismo – Nello Santi Conducts Yonghoon Lee, Martina Serafin, Lucio Gallo in “Andrea Chénier” – Zurich Opera, May 4, 2014

The venerable Italian conductor Nello Santi at age 83 remains a favorite of Zurich Opera audiences, his appearances drawing sustained ovations [Below: Zurich Opera conductor Nello Santi; resized image of a publicity photograph, from] Thus, it was with more than routine interest that I scheduled a performance of Giordano’s “Andrea Chénier” in Zurich, the first time … Read more

Review: Robert Carsen’s Brilliantly Refocused “Pique Dame” – Zurich Opera, May 3, 2014

A traditional “Pique Dame” performance of Tchaikovsky’s  opera “Pique Dame” often has an episodic feel as it wanders through different elements of Saint Petersburg society. The opera explores the antics of boys playing at soldiering. It notes the opinion of crowds about the changing weather. It focuses on the spontaneous attempts at peasant dancing by young upper … Read more

Review: Petra Lang’s Brünnhilde Leads Strong Cast for Dieter Dorn’s “Götterdämmerung – Grand Théâtre de Genève, May 2, 2014

Over the past year, German director Dieter Dorn has unveiled his new production of Wagner’s “Ring of the Nibelungs”, created for the Grand Théâtre de Genève. I was able to schedule the final performance of the final opera of the cycle, “Götterdämmerung”, which gave me insight into Dorn’s realization of Wagner’s gargantuan work. [Below: German director … Read more

Review: Praiseworthy Performances by Siurina, Deshayes, Castronovo in Carsen’s Classic Conceputalization of “Capuleti e i Montecchi”- Opéra National de Paris, April 30, 2014

Robert Carsen’s famous production of Sicilian composer Vincenzo Bellini’s “I Capuleti e i Montecchi” has again been revived at the Opéra National de Paris’ Bastille opera house. Carsen proved again that Bellini’s operatic version of the Romeo and Juliet story needs no staging gimmickry to be a theatrical triumph. [Below: Canadian production designer/stage director Robert Carsen; edited image … Read more