Review: Seattle Opera’s “Mary Stuart” – Joyce El-Khoury’s, Mary Elizabeth Williams’ Regal Confrontation – February 27, 2016

The Seattle Opera presented its first ever performance of Donizetti’s “Maria Stuarda (Mary Stuart)”, an opera that requires the casting of two vocally impressive and dramatically effective sopranos as the rival queens, Elizabeth the First of England and Mary, Queen of Scots. Although the Seattle Opera originally intended that two casts would share the lead parts of Mary, … Read more

Review: Beautiful Singing from a Silent Screen “Magic Flute” – Los Angeles Opera, February 24, 2016

Barrie Kosky’s and Suzanne Andrade’s production of Mozart’s perennial favorite fantasy opera, last seen in 2013, proved so popular that it was quickly revived for a second showing with a new cast. In our previous review, the concept and origins of the production was described in great detail [Outrageously Inventive, Unceasingly Entertaining – Kosky/Andrade /Barritt’s Silent … Read more

An Interview of Maestro Emmanuel Villaume

The following interview took place in the administrative offices of The Dallas Opera, whose facilitation of this interview is much appreciated.   [Below: Conductor Emmanuel Villaume; resized image of an Akos Photography publicity photograph.] Wm: One of the first questions that I ask artists whom I am interviewing relates to their earliest musical experiences. What … Read more

A Year of Operatic World Premieres: Part 2 of a Conversation with Basso Kevin Burdette

My  conversation A Year of Operatic World Premieres: A Conversation with Basso Kevin Burdette resumed at the Santa Fe “Ranch” and has subsequently continued after the world premiere of “Great Scott” at The Dallas Opera. [Below: Basso Kevin Burdette; edited image of a Simon Pauly photograph, from] Wm: 2015 turned out to be quite a year for you, with four world … Read more

Review: A Top Notch “Tosca” from Alexia Voulgaridou, Gwyn Hughes Jones and Greer Grimsley – San Diego Opera, February 13, 2016

Puccini’s “Tosca” requires large voices capable of soaring above the sound of a full orchestra. It needs a soprano and tenor who can display the lyricism of Puccini’s lush melodies and a baritone with strong dramatic instincts. Utilizing Andrew Horn’s handsome sets (created 15 years ago for the Baltimore Opera) and enlisting a cast led by Greek soprano … Read more