The Dictator’s Wife at Washington National Opera (review)

Watching an opera take its first life breath is witnessing a high-risk birth. There were some serious devotees on hand at Kennedy Center’s Family Theatre to support Washington National Opera’s fifth commission of a new hour-long opera.

Goyescas from The In Series (review)

Hats in the air and “Olé!” for the In Series team that has delivered an inspired staging of an extremely challenging one-act opera, Goyescas. Written in 1915 by Enrique Granados, it that will confront you with its energetic vitality, its celebration of life and at the same time, set you back on your heels with its […]

Daughter of the Regiment at Washington National Opera (review)

Whenever I attend an opera, I always try to ask myself, “if this were the first opera I were seeing, would I enjoy this performance?” After a quarter-century of seeing them, sometimes that first time perspective can be hard to find. But the Washington National Opera’s production of Gaetano Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment (Daughter of the […]

The Marriage of Figaro from Washington National Opera (review)

As the dimming lights turned the deep red walls of the Kennedy Center Opera House into darkness, the spiky celestial chandeliers seemed to glow with unusual brilliance, welcoming us into another season of Washington National Opera.

WNO brings you Figaro in the Outfield for free, Sept 24

The Stadium glows in the embrace of the fading afternoon Sun. The infield is as smooth and manicured as a billiard table. A cooling breeze floats in from the Potomac, wafting over the gorgeous green grasses of left field. Slowly, the massive light towers flicker ablaze. The fans, thrilled by what has gone on so […]

Opera in Washington – The 2016-2017 Season

– Notes from the talk delivered by Susan Galbraith at The Smithsonian on August 16th – On a good day in the Greater Washington area there are more than 15 opera companies of various ilks and sizes. Not all present regular programming. Some, like Lorin Maazel’s Castleton  (still in hiatus after the maestro’s death), or Wolf […]

The Crucible at Glimmerglass Festival

In 1692, Tituba and a gaggle of Puritan girls frolicked by night in the woods outside Salem and allegedly conjured up the devil, an event that embroiled the witnesses and a whole township in a massive, tragic witch-hunt.  By night, during this summer of 2016, surrounded by the woods of Cooperstown New York, there has […]

Sweeney Todd at Glimmerglass Festival

 Is it true, as Stephen Sondheim insists, that mostly audience expectations dictate whether a work is to be experienced as an opera or a musical?  When pushed, however, he is equally adamant that his Sweeney Todd was squarely conceived as a musical.  Well, Artistic Director of the Glimmerglass Festival, Francesca Zambello, and the entire ensemble […]

The Thieving Magpie at Glimmerglass Festival

 Well, this one’s for the birds! Full disclosure. I love a production that is steeped in fanciful storytelling.  My background as a former teacher of theatre-movement makes me a sucker for anthropomorphic exploration in character building.  And I swoon for the bel canto vocal sound, its clear bell-like tones and the agility of the voices […]

La Bohème at Glimmerglass Festival

In a season where we’ve been hammered by political name-calling and divisive fearmongering, the threat of climate change and global terrorism, and protests and gun violence in hometowns across America, it is an emotional salve to return, if even for an evening, to the world of Giacomo Puccini’s young Bohemians. La Bohème reminds us of […]

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