Tom’s Review: Smoking Opera Pacific “Carmen”, March 8, 2007

Despite the Surgeon General’s warning about cigarettes, the recent production of Bizet’s “Carmen” at Opera Pacific, smoked Orange County. As one who has seen this numero uno opera for paying the bills countless wonderful times (including an August 2006 performance in Santa Fe, a link to whose review occurs at the bottom of this page), … Read more

Review: Powerful, Edgy “Tannhäuser” at Los Angeles Opera – February 28, 2007

Richard Wagner’s “Tannhäuser”, although firmly in the standard repertoire, has tended to be performed a little less often in recent years than the work that preceded it (“The Flying Dutchman”) and the eight operas he wrote afterwards. That appears, at least for the near future, to be changing. California’s three most important opera companies – … Read more

Review: Seductive Denyce Graves Enthralls San Diego in “Samson et Dalila” – February 23, 2007

Many operatic artists of the first rank, and that seems an entirely appropriate category for Denyce Graves, have “signature roles” through which they gain public esteem. Ms Graves is a renowned Carmen, but has chosen Dalila as her particular specialty. Besides being an artist of high integrity, who approaches the treasures of the French repertoire … Read more

Review: Furlanetto’s, San Diego Opera’s, Compelling 1869 Version of “Boris Godunov” – January 30, 2007

For the past 35 or so years, opera companies in the United States and throughout the world have been experimenting with versions of Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov” other than the elegantly re-orchestrated version by Mussorgsky’s close friend, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, that held the world’s stages for nearly a century. A common theme underlay each experiment – to … Read more

Review: A “Faust” Surprise in Houston – January 23, 2007

The foul weather flags were flying along Galveston Bay, the Houston area’s Gulf of Mexico shoreline, when William Burden, the tenor scheduled to sing the title role in Houston Grand Opera’s production of Gounod’s “Faust” awoke to an inflamed throat. Throughout the day he consulted with his doctor, voice experts, and the opera’s management. It … Read more