In Series reaches new heights with Beethoven’s Fidelio (review)

The In Series takes Beethoven’s only opera, the rarely performed Fidelio, and transforms it into a symbol of freedom, a magnificently moving, awe-inspiring vision of hope and redemption through married love. With this, its largest-ever production, it seems there’s nothing this plucky “pocket opera” company, and its company of fearless singers, cannot do.

Spoleto’s Alyson Cambridge on playing Bess

Soprano Alyson Cambridge, who began her career here in Washington, DC and has gone on to perform on some of the major opera stages of the world including Washington National Opera. She is making her debut performance as Bess in Porgy and Bess at the Spoleto Festival USA and talks here about the role and the issues of […]

Spoleto makes a gorgeous Porgy and Bess for Charleston (review)

This year’s big fortieth anniversary event at Spoleto Festival USA was the long-anticipated new production of George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess, as a celebration of the city that gave birth to the original story.

Spoleto Festival USA 2016 celebrates its 40th anniversary (review)

Last time I was here in 2013 I was swept into the flurry of opening celebrations, including the noontime grandstand with mayoral speeches and brass band and the late night garden party for sponsors, complete with celebrity gawking and southern finery sightings.

The Little Match Girl (review) at Spoleto Festival USA

Have you ever sat beside a lake at night and listened to the sounds? Or stood on an urban street corner in inky blackness or more exactly in a snowstorm where the world becomes unfamiliar in the swirling blur and the sounds become mysterious slushes and whooshes?

WNO’s “made in America” Ring of the Nibelung: Twilight of the Gods

Friday morning, images across TV screens and in The Washington Post flashed pictures of wildfires burning in the oil fields of Alberta, Canada. For those of us this past week who have lived and breathed Richard Wagner’s towering operatic epic, The Ring of the Nibelung by Washington National Opera (all 18 hours!) these billowing spumes […]

WNO’s “made in America” Ring of the Nibelung – Part 3 Siegfried (review)

Projections follow music and carry us from clouds to forest canopy. But how quickly the woods change to a panorama of deforestation. Magnificent trunks become denuded logs and are carried by rail as poles to hold up electric wires. Next come belching industrial smokestacks. Director Francesca Zambello will not let us off from bearing witness […]

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.

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