In Quest of Repertory-Expanding Operas – April-December, 2016

Over the next several months, I will reviewing two world premieres and two opera company productions of Broadway smash hits. Each of the four musical works has ties to centers of American cultural creativity – “Broadway” or “Hollywood”. Each of the works has promise to expand and enliven the standard operatic repertory.   Carousel (Rodgers and Hammerstein), Houston … Read more

In Quest of Operatic Masterpieces from the German and Czech Repertories – April- November, 2016

During 2016 I will be reviewing four less often performed operatic masterpieces from the German and Czech repertories. Siegfried (Wagner), Houston Grand Opera, April 16, 20, 23, 28 and May 1(m), 2016 Heldentenor Jay Hunter Morris is Siegfried and dramatic soprano Christine Goerke is Brünnhilde in the Fura del Baus production of the third opera of … Read more

Review: An Exciting, Moving “Madame Butterfly” – Los Angeles Opera, March 12, 2016

A theatrically effective, beautifully sung performance by Puerto Rico soprano Ana Maria Martinez, a newly revised production by British director Lee Blakeley tailored for the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage, and a dramatic reading of Puccini’s lush score by Maestro James Conlon were among the highlights of the Los Angeles Opera’s production of Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly”. [Below: Ana Maria Martinez … Read more

World Premiere Review: A Triumphant “Prince of Players” for Composer Carlisle Floyd, Baritone Ben Edquist – Houston Grand Opera, March 5, 2016

Composer Carlisle Floyd, who turns 90 this summer, created the lyrics and music for yet another master work for the Houston Grand Opera, the company in which so much of the Floyd Legacy is invested. The opera, “Prince of Players”, is based considerably on the 2004 movie Stage Beauty. In Floyd’s deft hands and incorporating the inspired direction of … Read more

Review: A Magnificent “Manon” starring Ailyn Pérez and Stephen Costello – The Dallas Opera, March 4, 2016

Sir David McVicar’s theatrically effective production of Massenet’s “Manon” returns to The Dallas Opera, starring Illinois soprano Ailyn Pérez in the title role and Pennsylvania tenor Stephen Costello as the Chevalier des Grieux. [Below: The Chevalier des Grieux (Stephen Costello, top) affectionately tickles Manon (Ailyn Pérez) in their Parisian apartment on the Rue Vivienne; edited image, based on … Read more