Review: Houston Grand Opera’s “La Traviata” with Shagimuratova, Pittas, Petean – October 28, 2017

The Houston Grand Opera’s 2017-18 season opening night opera was a revival of Arin Arbus’ production of Verdi’s “La Traviata”. The performance I attended took place eight days later. In the aftermath of August’s devastating Hurricane Harvey, the Houston Grand Opera, forced to move out of it Wortham Center home for several months, created a … Read more

Review: Houston Grand Opera’s Resilient “Julius Caesar” Showcases Anthony Roth Costanzo and Stellar Cast – October 27, 2017

The Houston Grand Opera revived its 2003 James Robinson production of Handel’s “Julius Caesar”. The production presents Handel’s best known opera – whose story is roughly based on historical events of the first century B.C. – as a company of film actors preparing a 1930s Hollywood cinema spectacular. Robinson’s inventive evocation of 1930s Hollywood is obviously … Read more

Review: A Power House Dallas Opera “Samson” with Borodina, Forbis, Fink – October 25, 2017

The Dallas Opera, whose conducting staff is led by its French-born Music Director Emmanuel Villaume, chose Camille Saint-SaĆ«ns’ “Samson et Dalila” from the heart of the Romantic French operatic repertory, as the opera to open its 61st season. [Below: Dalila (Olga Borodina, right) is determined to seduce Samson (Clifton Forbis, left) as part of an … Read more

In Quest of Operas by Berlioz, Bizet and Massenet, November 2017-March 2018

I will be reporting on four operas by 19th century Parisian composers Hector Berlioz, Georges Bizet and Jules Masssenet:   Manon (Massenet), San Francisco Opera, November 4, 7, 10, 16, 19(m) and 22, 2017. Ellie Dehn is Manon and Michael Fabiano is the Chevalier des Grieux in a Vincent Broussard staging of Massenet’s “Manon”, conducted … Read more

Return to Los Angeles Opera – A Conversation with Basso Morris Robinson

The following conversation took place under the auspices of the Los Angeles Opera, whose facilitation of the conversation is deeply appreciated:   [Below: Basso Morris Robinson; edited image of a publicity photograph from] Wm: You’ve returned to the Los Angeles Opera to perform the role of Zaccaria in Verdi’s “Nabucco” under the baton of Maestro James … Read more