WNO’s “made in America” Ring of the Nibelung – Part 2 The Valkyrie (review)

“Nun zäume dein Ross, reisige Maid!” (“Mount your horse, cavalry maiden!”) We’re in for a ride! Zambello’s big pre-show announcement on opening night of The Valkyrie was that Christine Goerke, who had just the afternoon before sung another Brünnhilde in Siegfried in Houston, an equally huge role, had flown in like the Valkyrie she is to […]

WNO’s “made in America” Ring of the Nibelung – Part 1 The Rhinegold (review)

In the darkened Kennedy Center Opera House, the music begins so quietly one thinks maybe it is only imagined. But that E-flat major triad rolls on and grows. On an enormous screen, from a murky swirling darkness, slowly, light appears, forming a gaseous cloud.

Exclusive: Francesca Zambello on directing The Ring of the Nibelung at WNO

Francesca Zambello is directing Wagner’s Ring Cycle that opens April 30th at The Kennedy Center and brings to Washington National Opera for the first time the whole four-part epic opera cycle.  And just for good measure, WNO will present the whole thing three times through.

Lost in the Stars from Washington National Opera (review)

Many people taking their seats for the first time at WNO’s Lost in the Stars may wonder at the production’s stark and formidable stockade, lit but darkly. The leader of the Chorus enters and acts as Magician and Stage Manager, raising a few of the set’s steep side panels with a wave of his hand […]

Better Gods, new opera reveals Hawaii’s last queen, from WNO

Washington National Opera’s Better Gods brings a mostly unknown chapter in Hawaiian history onto the stage at the Kennedy Center, telling the story of Queen Lili’uokalani, the island nation’s last monarch, with dignity and high artistic values. I imagine the Hawaiian “better gods” are happy.

Catone in Utica from Opera Lafayette (review)

There’s much to learn watching a production being remounted by essentially the same team. The riches and new challenges proved fascinating in the rarity of Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica that played for two performances this past weekend at the Kennedy Center.

Appomattox at Washington National Opera

Philip Glass has been called by some the greatest living composer.  His new work, Appomattox, received a world premiere in its expanded and revised state by Washington National Opera on Saturday. It is bold, sweeping, dreamlike, socially relevant, and ultimately deeply spiritual.

Isango Ensemble performs a fiery South African version of Carmen

There is a Carmen for everyone. This production of Georges Bizet’s opera is from South African townships around Capetown welded by the most spirited Isango Ensemble. They have made the work their own from the marimba orchestra in which all the performers participate to the African dance steps and occasionally native-language songs thrown in the […]

As One, transgender opera from UrbanArias (review)

Pulsing music from a string quartet becomes a cinematic soundtrack to footage of green water swiftly flowing. The images change to handlebars while on stage a seated man pedals the air, the baritone singing ecstatically “Like every other boy, I have a paper route!”

From creation of transgender opera, As One, to UrbanArias’ quick embrace

“This project has changed me completely,” Laura Kaminsky told me, “as an artist and as a composer. It’s been an amazing experience so far. For months, I was taking Hannah’s spirit everywhere with me. She was haunting our household.”

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