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 […]

Do Not Disturb (review)

  Do Not Disturb is big as Fringe shows go -an ambitious chamber opera in fact, with 11 singers, 5 instrumentalists, plus stage and music directors.

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.

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