Review: Sondra Radvanovsky stars in Munich “Tosca” – Bayerische Staatsoper, May 11, 2016

I attended the second performance of the current revival of Luc Bondy’s production of Puccini’s “Tosca” at the Bayerische Staatsoper, which was a vehicle for Illinois soprano Sondra Radvanovsky. Sondra Radvanovsky’s Tosca The title role of “Tosca” is one of Sondra Radvanovsky’s signature roles. It is a role to which her dramatic instincts and her … Read more

Review: Imbrailo, Winters and Ketelsen Effective in Dmitri Tcherniakov’s Psychoanalytic Take on “Pelléas et Mélisande” – Zurich Opera, May 8, 2016

South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo and Maryland soprano Corinne Winters assayed the lead roles of “Pelléas et Mélisande” in a radical reinterpretation of the Debussy’s 1902 opera by Russian director Dmitri Tcherniakov. Iowa bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen was Golaud. The vocal performances and acting of all three principals was stunning, and the trio was well-supported by a … Read more

Review: Zurich Opera Young Artists Sparkle as Jetske Mijnssen Reinvents Haydn’s “Orlando Paladino” – Theater Winterthur, May 7, 2016

Zurich Opera invited Dutch director Jetske Mijnssen to create a new production of Haydn’s comic opera “Orlando Paladino”, derived from 16th century fantasist Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso. Perhaps no opera composer is more unjustifiably ignored that Mozart’s friend and mentor, Joseph Haydn. Zurich Opera has taken a step toward rectifying that injustice. [Below: Composer Joseph Haydn; … Read more

Review: A “Rigoletto” Surprise in Paris: Ludovic Tézier Subs in Title Role in Claus Guth’s Production with Fabiano, Peretyatko, Luisotti – May 5, 2016

Claus Guth’s revelatory “Rigoletto” production opened last month at the Opéra National de Paris, with Hawaiian baritone Quinn Kelsey scheduled for ten performances in the title role. Illness required Kelsey to withdraw from his scheduled seventh and eighth performances on May 7 and 9th. [Below: Director Claus Guth, left works with baritone Quinn Kelsey on Rigoletto’s gestures; edited image, … Read more

In Quest of Live Performances of Popular Operas – May-November, 2016

The most popular operas have been nicknamed the opera “warhorses”. They include the ABCD operas of “Aida”, “Boheme”, “Carmen” and “Don Giovanni”.  (There is currently no “E” opera in this list and little prospect that, say, Richard Strauss’ “Elektra” or Verdi’s “Ernani” will challenge the other four). As it turns out, I am scheduled to review live … Read more