Review: “Cenerentola” – San Francisco Opera’s Splendidly Sung, Sumptuously Staged Cinderella Story, November 9, 2014

San Francisco Opera, mixing old and new, continued a highly successful fall season by mounting its historic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production of Rossini’s “Cenerentola”. It proved to be another smash hit, resulting in standing ovations for the four principals and conductor Jesus Lopez-Cobos. First mounted in the 1969 season for Spanish mezzo Teresa Berganza, it is literally the oldest … Read more

Rising Stars: An Interview with Melody Moore

The following interview took place in the administrative offices of the Houston Grand Opera, whose facilitation of the interview is deeply appreciated:   [Below: Soprano Melody Moore; resized image of a publicity photograph.]   Wm: My custom is to ask each artist what their earliest memories of music were. What are yours? MM: I was involved … Read more

Review: O’Neill, Pérez and Vratogna Impressive in Houston Grand Opera’s “Otello” – November 1, 2014

The Houston Grand Opera, as the opening night of its 60th season, mounted Verdi’s “Otello” with Simon O’Neill in the title role, Ailyn Pérez as Desdemona and Marco Vratogna as Otello’s nemesis Iago. I attended the third of five scheduled performances. [Below: Otello (Simon O’Neill, right) expresses his love for Desdemona (Ailyn Pérez, left); edited … Read more

Review: Classy Cast in Classic “Cosi fan Tutte” – Houston Grand Opera, October 31, 2014

Swedish director Göran Järvefelt’s 1988 production of Mozart’s “Cosi fan Tutte” was revived by the Houston Grand Opera. Sporting a cast consisting of veteran operatic comedians Nuccia Focile as Despina and Alessandro Corbelli as Don Alfonso, it provides the vehicle for showing the talents of four young rising stars of opera. Rachel Willis-Sørensen is Fiordiligi, Melody … Read more