In Quest of 21st Century American Operas – November, 2018 – August, 2019

I am scheduled to review the following operas, which include two world premieres and the revival of a work on whose world premiere I reported previously. These operas are to be presented by the San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera or the Glimmerglass Festival between November 2018 and August 2019: It’s a Wonderful Life (Heggie), … Read more

Review: A Captivating “Marriage of Figaro” Opens San Diego Opera’s 54th Season – October 20, 2018

The San Diego Opera opened its 2018-19 season with Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” in an attractive production conceived by British director Stephen Lawless. [Below: Four principal characters of the opera, Marcellina (Susanne Mentzer, left), Don Bartolo (Ashraf Sewaillam, second from left), Figaro (Evan Hughes, second from right) and Susanna (Sarah Shafer, right) step through the … Read more

Review: Dehn and Mulligan Illumine Albery’s Stylish “Arabella” – San Francisco Opera, October 16, 2018

The San Francisco Opera mounted British director Tim Albery’s production of Richard Strauss’ “Arabella”, first presented at the Santa Fe Opera in 2012. My review of the Albery production’s 2012 debut in Santa Fe [Erin Wall, Mark Delavan Are Superb in Elegant New Production of “Arabella” – Santa Fe Opera, August 1, 2012] contains many … Read more

Review: An Appealing New “Tosca” for San Francisco Opera, October 3, 2018

The San Francisco Opera unveiled its attractive new Shawna Lucey/Robert Innes Hopkins production of Puccini’s “Tosca”. [Below: the Robert Innes Hopkins sets for the first act of Puccini’s “Tosca”; edited image, based on a Cory Weaver photograph, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera.] Carmen Giannattasio as Tosca In her role debut and San Francisco Opera debut … Read more

Review: An All-Star “Don Carlo” from Plácido Domingo and Friends – Los Angeles Opera, September 29, 2018

Any opera company in the world certainly would have jumped at the chance to mount Verdi’s “Don Carlo” if the cast that Los Angeles Opera had assembled were available – Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas in the title role, Puerto Rican soprano Ana María Martínez as Elisabetta di Valois, Russian soprano Anna Smirnova as the Princess … Read more