Review: Blythe, Rae, Shrader Sizzle in Seattle Opera’s Saucy “Semele” – February 25, 2015

The Seattle Opera has launched a new production of Handel’s 1744 opera “Semele”, about Jupiter’s affair with a human being who turns out to be the mother of Bacchus (Dionysius). Cleverly staged by Tomer Zvulun with impressive sets and projections by Erhard Rom, it provided a vehicle for triumphant performances by Brenda Rae in the … Read more

In Quest of Donizetti and Early Verdi – March 2015 through August 2015.

As noted in other postings in this “Quests and Anticipations” series, I prefer to segment the operas of the most famous early and mid-19th century Italian composers in a non-traditional way: (1) those of Rossini and Bellini, (2) those of Donizetti and early Verdi (i.e, those of the tw0 decades between Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena” and Verdi’s … Read more

In Quest of Operas by Wagner and Richard Strauss: March-November, 2015

Below is a list of performances of operas by German composer Richard Wagner and Austrian composer Richard Strauss that I am scheduled to attend and review between March and November 2015.   This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed from February 2015 through March 2016: … Read more

Review: Ildebrando D’Arcangelo Leads Strong “Don Giovanni” Cast – San Diego Opera, February 14, 2015

Italian bass-baritone Ildebrando D’Arcangelo’s February 14 debut at the San Diego Opera proved to be a Valentine’s Gift to a community that succeeded in rescuing its endangered opera company. D’Arcangelo was a saucy Don, his solid vocal performance and his matinee idol good looks confirming his inclusion in the wide world’s inner circle of contemporary interpreters of this iconic role. [See … Read more

In Quest of “Figaro” Operas – February 2015 through February 2016

The Los Angeles Opera’s current Figaro festival celebrates the most famous opera based on each of French dramatist Beaumarchais’ trilogy of revolutionary plays – Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”, Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” and John Corigliano’s “Ghosts of Versailles” (the latter that incorporates the plot of the final drama in the trilogy, “The Guilty Mother”). Although I am not … Read more