Opera Theater Reviews


BWW Review: RUSALKA at Des Moines Metro Opera and Iowa PBS: A Journey to the Depths o Photo BWW Review: RUSALKA at Des Moines Metro Opera and Iowa PBS: A Journey to the Depths of the Sea and Back.
by DC Felton - July 06, 2020

Last week Des Moines Metro Opera (DMMO) and Iowa Public Broadcasting Service started the 2020 Virtual Opera season with a stunning airing of 'Manon.' The decision to go virtual this season was due to the continuing COVID crisis. They continue their summer season this week with their 2018 production ...
BWW Review: Des Moines' MANON Is a Welcome Journey Taken From Your Own Couch Photo BWW Review: Des Moines' MANON Is a Welcome Journey Taken From Your Own Couch
by DC Felton - June 30, 2020

Opera companies worldwide have found themselves canceling their seasons, including Des Moines Metro Opera (DMMO).  The difference with DMMO is that they have had an Emmy winning partnership with Iowa Public Television, now called Iowa Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), coming together to give you th...
BWW Exclusive: 107 Opera Singers, a Conductor plus Tech Magic Bring Some LIGHT from M Photo BWW Exclusive: 107 Opera Singers, a Conductor plus Tech Magic Bring Some LIGHT from Moravec, Campbell and OPERA America
by Richard Sasanow - May 13, 2020

Here's a look at how 'Light Shall Lift Us; Singers Unite in Song' (for OPERA America), a video project featuring 107 opera singers in “a song of hope and solidarity” by Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell, came together to help raise up the spirits of their communities as we deal with COVID-19. It went '...
BWW Review: Metropolitan Opera's At-Home Gala Photo BWW Review: Metropolitan Opera's At-Home Gala
by Maria Nockin - April 26, 2020

On April 25, 2020, The Metropolitan Opera presented many of its top ranked artists performing from their homes or where they were staying on that date. Met General Manager Peter Gelb, the master of ceremonies, chatted with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin as they presented each performer. Because...
BWW Review: Met's Round-the-World, At-Home Gala Proves 'Music is Nutrition for Our So Photo BWW Review: Met's Round-the-World, At-Home Gala Proves 'Music is Nutrition for Our Souls'
by Richard Sasanow - April 26, 2020

In the midst of this COVID-19 crisis that is gripping the world--and keeping so many people in quarantine--the Metropolitan Opera managed to pull off a brilliantly executed music coup. It connected stars, chorus members and orchestral musicians in an “At-Home Gala”--a combination fund-raiser for the...
BWW Review: Giggles Galore at the Met? You Bet—from PASQUALE and FALSTAFF on Demand Photo BWW Review: Giggles Galore at the Met? You Bet—from PASQUALE and FALSTAFF on Demand
by Richard Sasanow - April 12, 2020

Luckily for viewers on the Metropolitan Opera's “Met on Demand”—with selections available free in this time of COVID-19, on your laptop or as apps for your phone or tablet—there were a couple of knee-slappers thrown in among the drama of AIDA, PARSIFAL and ROMEO ET JULIETTE this week. Two of my favo...
BWW Reviews: A Great Week for Haircuts at the Met, from BARBIERE to NIXON Photo BWW Reviews: A Great Week for Haircuts at the Met, from BARBIERE to NIXON
by Richard Sasanow - April 02, 2020

The Met on Demand had another week of exciting performances, from the divine [Rossini's IL  BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA] to the, well, the divine [Adams's NIXON IN CHINA]....
BWW Review: Paris Opera Gives Us a Look at the Met's New DON GIOVANNI from the Palais Photo BWW Review: Paris Opera Gives Us a Look at the Met's New DON GIOVANNI from the Palais Garnier
by Richard Sasanow - March 29, 2020

Thanks to the French online service, France.tv, opera-goers in New York have had a chance to see what lies ahead with the new production of Mozart's DON GIOVANNI by Ivo van Hove, that, health crisis be willing, will make its debut at the Met next March....
BWW Review: Is the Met's TURANDOT Different on PBS' Great Performances Than in the Op Photo BWW Review: Is the Met's TURANDOT Different on PBS' Great Performances Than in the Opera House?
by Richard Sasanow - March 22, 2020

In these crazy days when no theatres are open to the public, the Live in HD series on PBS is a lifeline to the Met; last Friday, on PBS' Great Performances (on WNET in New York, at least) there was this fall's TURANDOT with a first-rate cast....
BWW Review: ADELAIDE FESTIVAL 2020: BREAKING THE WAVES at Adelaide Festival Theatre, Photo BWW Review: ADELAIDE FESTIVAL 2020: BREAKING THE WAVES at Adelaide Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
by Barry Lenny - March 14, 2020

Mazzoli's music is sensational....
BWW Review: LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST at Winter Opera St. Louis Photo BWW Review: LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST at Winter Opera St. Louis
by Steve Callahan - March 09, 2020

St. Louis's wonderful Winter Opera closes it's thirteenth season with a fine production of a rarely-seen work by Puccini--La fanciulla del West, or The Girl of the Golden West. Now Puccini was fond of choosing exotic settings for his operas--look at Madama Butterfly and Turandot. Well, to a European...
BWW Review: THE BEL CANTO TRIO Kicks Off San Diego Opera's Detour Series in La Jolla Photo BWW Review: THE BEL CANTO TRIO Kicks Off San Diego Opera's Detour Series in La Jolla
by Ron Bierman - March 07, 2020

The San Diego Opera's first Detour Series performance this season belonged to the new Bel Canto Trio, starring tenor Joshua Guerrero, soprano Julie Adams, and bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee. All are outstanding young award winners with impressive voices and resumes. Music director and pianist Chris...
BWW Review: Girard's Disappointing New DUTCHMAN Drops Anchor at the Met Photo BWW Review: Girard's Disappointing New DUTCHMAN Drops Anchor at the Met
by Richard Sasanow - March 04, 2020

The Met had a wonderfully conducted performance of Wagner's DER FLIENGENDE HOLLANDER with a marvelous singer in the title role. Unfortunately, that was in 2017, when the Met's Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin was on the podium and Michael Volle was the forceful Hollander. This time around, when F...
BWW Review: Washington National Opera's SAMSON AND DELILAH at the Kennedy Center Photo BWW Review: Washington National Opera's SAMSON AND DELILAH at the Kennedy Center
by Roger Catlin - March 04, 2020

Bad haircuts can be tragic, but none more so than for Samson, the Biblical figure whose strength was sapped the moment his mullet was gone. The treacherous shearing by a revenge-seeking Delilah launched centuries of retelling, including Camille Saint-Saëns' opera 'Samson and Delilah' which the Washi...
BWW Review: DON GIOVANNI at Washington National Opera Photo BWW Review: DON GIOVANNI at Washington National Opera
by James McQuillen - March 02, 2020

Some unclear choices keep a beautifully-designed and often well-sung GIOVANNI from making the impact it intends to....
BWW Review: A Marvelous Oropesa is Definitely Not 'Lost' in Met's TRAVIATA Photo BWW Review: A Marvelous Oropesa is Definitely Not 'Lost' in Met's TRAVIATA
by Richard Sasanow - March 02, 2020

When I recently interviewed Lisette Ororpesa, just before her first Violetta at the Met, she told me that people are always asking her “Isn't TRAVIATA an opera for three different sopranos? One soprano per act?” and her answer is: “Yeah, if you want to look at it that way...' She proved that she did...
BWW Review: FIDELIO, Royal Opera House Photo BWW Review: FIDELIO, Royal Opera House
by Alexandra Coghlan - March 02, 2020

On reflection, we should have been more suspicious. But when the curtain rose on a solid, period Fidelio complete with lowering prison walls and lank-haired French revolutionaries, a basket of freshly guillotined heads adding some grisly colour, it was easy to settle in for a breeches and muskets ro...
BWW Review: The Met Anoints Its New 'Fab Five' at National Council Auditions' GRAND F Photo BWW Review: The Met Anoints Its New 'Fab Five' at National Council Auditions' GRAND FINALS CONCERT
by Richard Sasanow - March 02, 2020

Saturday night, I heard soprano Lisette Oropesa deliver an alternatingly delicious and desperately dramatic Violetta in Verdi's LA TRAVIATA at the Met. Less than a day later, she was the emcee at the GRAND FINALS CONCERT of the Met's National Council Auditions--where she was a winner herself in 2005...
Reviews: Going for Baroque – Orlinski's FACCE D'AMORE on Erato, Hallenberg with VENIC Photo Reviews: Going for Baroque – Orlinski's FACCE D'AMORE on Erato, Hallenberg with VENICE BAROQUE at Zankel
by Richard Sasanow - March 01, 2020

Someone once asked me, long ago, “Don't you ever get Baroque-d out?” The answer then--when instrumental music was more widely available than vocal--was a firm “no.” Today, when there's the music of Handel and his contemporaries everywhere, the answer remains the same, particularly when it's in the r...
Review: The MOTHER of All Operas, by Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson, Staged by Jui Photo Review: The MOTHER of All Operas, by Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson, Staged by Juilliard at that Other Met
by Richard Sasanow - February 15, 2020

With great success, Juilliard's Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts, including a notable alumna, Felicia Moore, as Susan B. Anthony, along with members of the New York Philharmonic under Daniela Candillari performed Louisa Proske's production of the Gertrude Stein-Virgil Thomson opera THE MOTHER OF US A...
CD Review: Live from Carnegie Hall, Moravec-Campbell SANCTUARY ROAD with Oratorio Soc Photo CD Review: Live from Carnegie Hall, Moravec-Campbell SANCTUARY ROAD with Oratorio Society
by Richard Sasanow - February 10, 2020

I was delighted to hear that the Oratorio Society of New York's world premiere at Carnegie Hall of SANCTUARY ROAD (Naxos 8.559884)--a work for orchestra, chorus and a quintet of soloists--had been captured on disc. Not only is the story worth bringing to a broader audience, but the magic of the work...
BWW Review: San Diego Opera's Sly and Whimsical HANSEL AND GRETEL at the Civic Center Photo BWW Review: San Diego Opera's Sly and Whimsical HANSEL AND GRETEL at the Civic Center
by Ron Bierman - February 10, 2020

Engelbert Humperdinck's HANSEL AND GRETEL opened Saturday to an audience that included several dozen children, who followed their attention from beginning to end with color, movement, and singing backed by lushly orchestrated music. Even a five year-old girl sitting in front of me on a raised seat k...
BWW Review: THE PAJAMA GAME at Opéra De Rennes Photo BWW Review: THE PAJAMA GAME at Opéra De Rennes
by Patrick Honoré - February 10, 2020

After the concert version of West Side Story and an extensive tour of the musical Bells Are Ringing, director Jean Lacornerie and musical director Gérard Lecointe have chosen to collaborate again, delivering to the French public a comparatively little known musical of the 50s, The Pajama Game, which...
BWW Review: DiDonato and McVicar's Take on Handel's AGRIPPINA Have the Met Audience i Photo BWW Review: DiDonato and McVicar's Take on Handel's AGRIPPINA Have the Met Audience in Their Grip
by Richard Sasanow - February 08, 2020

Welcome to the Met, AGRIPPINA: It's about time. Handel and his librettist, Vincent Grimani, knew that certain stories are timeless--like corruption in government--and this one has plenty of twists and turns...and even some belly laughs. It was the perfect piece for an ingenious director, Sir David M...
BWW Review: ALICE'S ADVENTURES UNDER GROUND, Royal Opera House Photo BWW Review: ALICE'S ADVENTURES UNDER GROUND, Royal Opera House
by Gary Naylor - February 05, 2020

Antony McDonald's production of Gerald Barry's hurtling dash through Wonderland and behind the Looking Glass is a delight from start to finish - or it will be for some....