Rising Stars: An interview with Leah Crocetto

The following interview was conducted at the “ranch” of the Santa Fe Opera, whose facilitation of the interview is deeply appreciated.   [Below: Michigan soprano Leah Crocetto; edited image of a publicity photograph, courtesy of Leah Crocetto.] Wm: What were your first memories of music and of opera? LC: I was born in South Carolina, and … Read more

In Quest of Italian Opera Masterpieces, February – July, 2017

Early in 2017, I will be reporting on productions in San Diego and San Francisco of Italian operas by Mozart, Verdi and Puccini: Falstaff (Verdi), San Diego Opera, February 18, 21, 24 and 26(m), 2017. Italian baritone Roberto de Candia makes his San Diego Opera debut in the title role of Verdi’s “Falstaff”, in the famous production … Read more

Review: Oropesa, Brownlee, Burdette in Rollicking Washington National Opera “Fille du Régiment”, November 18, 2016

The Washington National Opera mounted Donizetti’s witty “La Fille du Régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment)”.  Staged by Robert Longbottom, with sets by James Noone and costumes by Zack Brown, the production married the talents of members of Broadway musical theater’s elite with the comic virtuosity of American opera stars. Lisette Oropesa’s Marie The title role … Read more

Review: A World Class Cast for Berlioz’ “Les Troyens” – Lyric Opera, Chicago, November 13, 2016

Chicago’s Lyric Opera mounted director Tim Albery’s absorbing “modern dress” production of Berlioz’ epic opera, “Les Troyens [The Trojans]” with a brilliant cast led (in alphabetical order of the artists’ surnames) by Christine Goerke (Cassandra), Susan Graham (Dido) and Brandon Jovanovich (Aeneas).  Notably, the major artists and almost the entire cast are American-trained singers. [Below: … Read more

Review: A Transcendent “Madama Butterfly”, San Francisco Opera, November 6, 2016

The San Francisco Opera revived the Jun Kaneko production of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” for Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian. [Below: Goro (Julius Ahn, front left, in silhouette) and Lieutenant Pinkerton (Vincenzo Costanzo, front, right in blue tunic) observe the bridal procession in Jun Kaneko’s production of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”; edited image, based on a Cory Weaver photograph, … Read more