Jane Archibald: more than the sum of all those notes
Desautels created a bit of magic with his first note of Schubert, dovetailing the piano's set-up note with an otherworldly sound that came out of nothing. He was really moving to watch. He seemed to cater his playing to the subtleties of Archibald's voice, even making his clarinet speak some text in the metaphorical margins of Schubert's score.Read More
Chauvinism, cynicism, & great singing: Così fan tutte
The overt chauvinism and cynicism of this plot aside, what isn't made clear — and what inevitably proves difficult for any production of this opera — is what happens at the end once the wager is divulged and all has been revealed to the sisters. Do the original pairs simply reunite despite all that transpired?Read More
"We took a real chance with Great Scott."
But really, who can argue with the riotous laughter that makes this recording something worthy of a listen? In opera, contemporary or otherwise, it’s a big deal to get an audience who reacts not only to what they see (and what was it they saw that was so funny? Ah, the plight of the live audio recording), but to details in the libretto.Read More
Lovely and sincere: POV's La Bohème
In this version, Mimì is far more coquettish - obviously trying to catch Rodolfo's interest in a more seductive way than is typical of the demure Mimì we typically expect. Slayden's "Che gelida manina" was absolutely breathtaking, his voice resonant and brilliant, and he absolutely brought the house down with his flawless performance.Read More
"Viva la operetta!"
Director Guerrero, using only a small acting space and nothing more than a door, a chair and bed as set pieces, utilized beautiful and, in some cases, symbolic rear projections to underpin the production, which is as much about the heart-breaking issue of immigration as it is about the heart-felt music.Read More
Technicolour G&S: ENO's Iolanthe
There were cheap laughs as well - seeing an MP with the hair of Boris Johnson was funny once, but the second time was over-doing it. An unwelcome flamingo made its way onto the stage for apparently no reason at all. The two-person cow suit made me feel like I was at a Christmas panto and not the London Coliseum - not to say that's an entirely bad thing.Read More
Talking with singers: Tamara Gura
"Trust your uniqueness and what you have to say. Make it your goal to find out what that is and how you can share it with the world. Take your time so that you enjoy each step of the process."Read More
The Met's 2018/19 seas...zzzzzzzzz
But, compared with the offerings at places like Opera Philadelphia, Minnesota Opera, The Atlanta Opera, and a fast-growing proportion of other regional opera houses in the United States and Canada, the Metropolitan Opera is proving its status as an honest-to-God opera museum.Read More
Candide: the Best of All Possible Productions?
All of Candide’s disasters could translate into a disastrous evening, but thanks to the clear and sure hand of director Zambello, the humor is allowed to speak for itself without too many additional bits and gags that often make a funny show tiresome and unwatchable.Read More
This week: two lunchtime treats in the RBA
De Sévigné's voice made the same journey; she started from a young place, almost a timid sound, that finally bloomed (and perhaps wilted, appropriately). Her instrument has always had a bell-like ring to it, and lately she has proven that she is a layered artist, both in sound and in the thought she gives to her onstage work.Read More