A chilling Dialogues of the Carmelites from Washington National Opera

Dialogues of the Carmalites

A Meditation on Fear and Mass Hysteria How the twist of a current event can bring a work alive. Far from being an opera about how faith put to the ultimate test offers a path to redemption, this Dialogues of the Carmelites feels like a difficult meditation on the power of fear, and not just […]

Penny’s short run reveals promising new opera


The best thing about Washington National Opera’s world premiere of Penny in the Terrace Theatre is that in a rare “tuning of the spheres” another new opera was commissioned and given a respectable viewing and hearing. This is the third year that Artistic Director Francesca Zambello has carried the banner forward in her personal crusade […]

La Sonnambula (the Sleepwalker) soars at Source

Lisa (Kimberly Christie) looks on as Elvino (Joe Haughton) discovers his fiancée Amina (CarrieAnne Winter) in a stranger's bed. (Photo: Angelisa Gillyard)

Remember that illuminating moment when first love hits? It can be a flutter in the solar plexus, an airy sensation in the head.  It’s that light-headed feeling that is pure, wholesome love. That time can be like a dream. But if the lovers prove to be liars and do sneaky, mean things for selfish reasons,  […]

Mozart’s opera for kids Bastian and Bastianna at Source


Presenting opera for children seems like an idea that’s going hotter than hotcakes. Kids and their parents are eating this stuff up. In December the Washington National Opera presented its third year of seasonal family performances with sold-out performances of The Little Prince. This weekend Washington’s most intimate opera company, The InSeries opens its own […]

Washington National Opera’s The Little Prince


Hitching a ride through the galaxy with The Little Prince last week, the audience discovered magical delights in the opera and such truths that grown-ups never are capable of telling, perhaps, as the story tells us, because they are so strange. So, I went straight to the children.

What makes an opera sing?

boheme caffritz2

Two different casts, two different audiences, two different experiences for La bohème What makes an opera sing? There are so many elements that must come together in this art form. Even within a single production, with different casts, (often the case at Washington National Opera as other opera companies) or even on different evenings with […]

Washington National Opera’s La bohème


Giacomo Puccini’s abiding tale of tragic love proved its unassailable endurance as the Washington National Opera’s restrained, ashen La bohème received an enthusiastic standing ovation at the Kennedy Center on opening night.

He’s deeply in love with its score. Director Peter Kazaras talks about La boheme


We are sitting in the chic white leather Russian Room at The Kennedy Center during a rehearsal break. Director Peter Kazaras has brought his bound score and throughout our conversation pours through it, reeling off Italian while getting into each character, getting me to look at the score, handling it like it’s his Bible. It’s […]

Les Fêtes de l’Hymen et de l’Amour, ou Les Dieux d’Égypte


If you thought opera was an art form dedicated to the “park and bark” supersized, you would have your assumptions happily blasted away at Opera Lafayette’s celebratory dance mash with slithering aqua body-suited Nile creatures, an Amazon army of gorgeous jingling-footed Indian dancers, and early-form French-court ballet dancers with their graceful port de bras and […]

Three Decembers from UrbanArias

Emily Pulley and Michael Mayes (Photo: C. Stanley Photography)

What do you imagine when you think of “going to the Opera?” Vast theaters, draped entirely in tacky red velvet? Huge casts with elaborate sets in sprawling shows that go on for hours in a language you studied half-heartedly in high school? Those are typical answers, but UrbanArias, a local opera company devoted to producing […]

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