Maria Nockin attended Fordham University at Lincoln Center while studying voice, piano, and violin privately. For many years she taught English as a Second Language in New York City schools and served as soprano soloist in several area churches. Upon retirement, she moved to the warmer climate of the Southwest where she writes about opera and classical music.
On August 17, 2018, The Grand Teton Music Festival presented Leonard Bernstein's 1957 musical, WEST SIDE STORY. In the intimate, wood-lined Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village, Wyoming, Music Director Donald Runnicles led the festival orchestra, which is composed of of players from fine ensembles from across the globe. The orchestra's music was 'surround sound' in the fullest sense of the term. Patrons not only heard but experienced Bernstein's Blues, Mambo, and Cha-Cha with all their senses as the rhythms encompassed the hall.BWW Review: ARIADNE AUF NAXOS at Santa Fe OPERA July 29, 2018
ARIADNE is an opera that shows the beauty of great voices and this cast had plenty to offer. Amanda Echalaz, whose voice has significant heft to it, sang Ariadne with beautiful rose velvet tones. She was a bit of a witch in the prologue, but in the opera, her voice rolled out over the audience like waves in the ocean. Offering pathos at the beginning, Echalaz's use of a tapestry of vocal color made her transition to Bacchus's lover credibleBWW Review: DOCTOR ATOMIC at Santa Fe Opera July 28, 2018
On July 28, 2018, 13 years after its premiere, Santa Fe Opera presented John Adams and Peter Sellars' DOCTOR ATOMIC. This new production featured bass-baritone Ryan McKinny as the volatile scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer. The opera, which takes place during the last few days before the first atomic bomb test, shows Oppenheimer battling with his mental demons as he tried to deal with the impending use of his scientific discovery to destroy an entire city and its inhabitants. McKinny showed the audience the human side of the scientific genius and I doubt that operagoers who saw his portrayal will soon forget it.BWW Review: L'ITALIANA IN ALGERI at Santa Fe Opera July 26, 2018
Daniela Mack is Isabella, an Italian pilot, who makes an emergency landing in Algiers and is captured by its ruler, the Bey. He wants an Italian girl for a wife but she loves Lindoro, the Bey's Italian slave. L'ITALIANA has lots of good bel canto singing and plenty of comedy to keep you smiling all evening. There are three more performances, Aug 3, 9 and 17.BWW Interview: Ryan McKinny of DR ATOMIC at Santa Fe Opera July 15, 2018
MN: What would you like operagoers to know about DR ATOMIC?
RMcK: I hope folks are able to arrive with an open heart and mind. As with any librettist Peter Sellars and composer John Adams collaboration, what we are creating is not traditional opera. In this case, it almost feels like a kind of ceremony-a celebration of this land and a display of mourning for what happened here in the desert 75 years ago.INSTITUTE FOR YOUNG DRAMATIC VOICES FINAL CONCERT at NIGHTINGALE HALL, RENO July 8, 2018
Dolora Zajick's Institute for Young Dramatic Voices (IYDV) offers free master classes as well as a free concert of songs and arias sung by students with piano accompaniment. All these events are held at Nightingale Hall, 1335 North Virginia Street, Reno, NV, and no tickets are required for any of them.BWW Review: LA GAZZETTA at The Ebell Club July 7, 2018
On Friday evening July 6, 2018, Pacific Opera Project (POP) presented Gioachino Rossini's little known opera LA GAZZETTA at the newly outfitted Ebell Club in Los Angeles. The area where patrons sat at tables was surrounded with a semi-circle of single seats. Every seat has been sold for the entire two-weekend run of GAZZETTA but it is likely that we will hear more from this bubbly,BWW Review: MADAMA BUTTERFLY at Santa Fe Opera July 1, 2018
On June 30, 2018, Santa Fe Opera continued the season begun the night before with a revival of the 1904 Brescia Version of Giacomo Puccini's tragic MADAMA BUTTERFLY. The late Lee Blakeley put together the original 2010 production with simple visual lines and a bold structure. Eight years later, Matthew Ozawa restated it poetically for a new audience.BWW Review: CANDIDE at Santa Fe Opera June 30, 2018
On Sunday June 24, 2018, Los Angeles Opera gave a matinee presentation of two one-act Gordon Getty operas, USHER HOUSE and THE CANTERVILLE GHOST, which LAO calls SCARE PAIR. USHER HOUSE is Getty's 2014 edgy, operatic version of of Edgar Allan Poe's story, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER. THE CANTERVILLE GHOST is Getty's realization of the Oscar Wilde story.BWW Review: LA CENERENTOLA at JUDY Bayley Theatre June 11, 2018
Cinderella has fled the royal ball having left her bracelet with the Prince as a remembrance. On June 8, 23018, Opera Las Vegas presented a jubilant version of Gioacchino Rossini's LA CENERENTOLA (CINDERELLA) in Las Vegas at the University of Nevada's Judy Bayley Theatre. Director Audrey Chait injected some form of comedy, often slapstick, into every possible situation and the result was an evening of one laugh after another.BWW Review: CROSSING at Wallis Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts May 26, 2018
On May 25, 2018, Los Angeles Opera presented a concert version of Matthew Aucoin's third opera, CROSSING. This work was first seen in Boston in June of 2015. Its story deals with Walt Whitman's stint as a volunteer at a Civil War military hospital near Washington DC. In 1862,BWW Review: RIGOLETTO at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion May 13, 2018
American mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick is one of the world's leading exponents of the dramatic Verdi repertoire. Her talent was first noticed when she was a pre-med student at the University of Nevada in Reno. Some years after that, she debuted with the San Francisco Opera as Azucena in IL TROVATORE, and it brought her international stardom. Decades later, she is best known for her interpretations of Amneris in AIDA, Eboli in DON CARLO, Ulrica in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, Jeibaba in Dvo?ak's RUSALKA, and Adalgisa in Bellini's NORMA.BWW Review: The Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall April 23, 2018
On April 21, 2018, Opera Santa Barbara presented Douglas Moore's GALLANTRY and Leonard Bernstein's TROUBLE IN TAHITI at the Center Stage theater in downtown Santa Barbara. The Center Stage is a 130-seat black box auditorium on the third floor of the chic, user-friendly Paseo Nuevo.BWW Review: DON GIOVANNI at The Vortex April 21, 2018
???????On April 20, Pacific Opera Project (POP) presented Mozart's DON GIOVANNI at The Vortex in downtown Los Angeles's arts district. DON GIOVANNI is the perfect choice for a small opera company. Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote an opera that required few choristers and contained only eight solo parts because he knew the limitations of the Prague opera company which would premiere DON GIOVANNI.BWW Interview: Director Josh Shaw of DON GIOVANNI at The Vortex April 13, 2018
Artistic and Executive Director of Pacific Opera Project (POP) Josh Shaw was recently named 'One of Musical America's Top 30 Innovators in Classical Music.' Over the past six seasons, he has directed 23 productions at POP including THE RAKE'S PROGRESS, ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, and LA CALISTO. His reimagining of THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO as an episode of Star Trek has gained national attention and has been produced by seven companies.BWW Review: ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion March 11, 2018
On March 11, 2018, Los Angeles Opera presented Christoph Willibald Gluck's ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE in conjunction with Joffrey Ballet Chicago at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Having previously presented the Italian version of the opera with a mezzo-soprano as Orfeo, L. A. Opera offered the 1774 French version with a tenor Orpheus and a great deal more dance this timeBWW Review: THE BARBER OF SEVILLE at Granada Theatre March 3, 2018
On March 2, 2018, Opera Santa Barbara presented Gioachino Rossini's THE BARBER OF SEVILLE. Based on a libretto by Cesare and staged in a more modern manner by director Josh Shaw, the California performance of the early nineteenth century work was thoroughly amusing from overture to final bow.