Streamed Performance Review: A Vocally Glorious “Tannhäuser” with Savage, Jakubiak, Meachem, Manotchkina, and Robinson – Los Angeles Opera, October 24, 2021

Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” returned to the Los Angeles Opera after a absence of a decade and a half. Many of the elements of British director Ian Judge’s original concept for the opera’s “Paris version” remained – the most significant change between 2007 and 2021 occuring in the Venusburg ballet that opens that Paris version. I reviewed … Read more

Review: Beethoven’s “Fidelio”, An Excellent Cast for Matthew Ozawa’s Powerful Production – San Francisco Opera, October 17, 2021

Matthew Ozawa’s new production of Beethoven’s “Fidelio”, the second offering of the San Francisco Opera’s 99th season, proved to be a memorable experience. Beethoven’s opera is an indictment of the practice of imprisoning political critics of a sovereignty. Ozawa, assisted by Alexander V. Nichols’ arresting set design, brilliantly achieved the underlying premise of his production … Read more

Streamed Performance Review: Azucena-Centered “Trovatore” Stars Pulliam, Bryce-Davis, Yu and Stoyanov – Los Angeles Opera, October 3, 2021

The Los Angeles Opera opened its 2021-22 season with Mexican director Francisco Negrin’s production of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”, returning to the Los Angeles Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion after a Covid-19 pandemic cancellation of its 2020-21 season. I reviewed a live Sunday matinee telecast of the fourth in the series of six performances. Limmie Pulliam’s … Read more

Streamed Performance Review: Patricia Racette’s Dramatic Elle in Poulenc’s “La Voix Humaine” – June, 2019, Opera Philadelphia at the Elkins Estate

Note from William: The following is a review of a filmed performance of “La Voix Humaine”. In 1958, French composer Francois Poulenc set a short play by French poet/dramatist Jean Cocteau to music.  Cocteau’s 1930 play was for a single character, a distressed woman engaged in a telephone call with a lover who has broken … Read more