Operatic Shock Treatment: Salomé in Paris

A new production of Richard Strauss’s Salomé is playing at Paris’s Opera Bastille. Stage Director Lydia Steier, an American working mostly in Germany, has designed it to shock audiences. In…

Tristan und Isolde at Seattle

Seattle Opera has long championed the operas of Richard Wagner. Legendary impresarios Glynn Ross and Speight Jenkins – the latter, at 85, still cutting a dapper figure in the audience…

Idomeneo at the Met

Thursday night performances of lesser-known works often spark memorable Met moments. So it was last week, at the revival of Mozart’s Idomeneo. The house was far from full and a…

Otello at Philadelphia

Gioachino Rossini finished Otello in 1816, the same year as his comic masterpieces, Il barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola. The latter two are acknowledged masterpieces. Yet it is Otello…

Hamlet at the Met

Today, with post-romanticism and minimalism in decline, most new operas fall into one of two categories. They are either “popularist” or “modernist.” Populist operas are crossover works. Building on Gershwin’s…

Ariadne auf Naxos at the Met

A funny thing happened at the Metropolitan Opera last Thursday, during the final performance of a recent run of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos. In the silence after the applause…

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Met

Last week I attended the recent MET revival of Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg alone. My wife declined to join me, insisting that she could not bear hearing endless…

Giovanna d’Arco at Opera di Roma

The Opera di Roma opens its fall season this week with Giuseppe Verdi’s rarely-performed early work, Giovanna d’Arco. The Teatro Costanzi was sold out on Tuesday, for Italians now live…

La Voix Humaine by Opera Philadelphia

Francis Poulenc’s opera La Voix Humaine portrays a woman speaking on the phone for 45 minutes to a lover who is leaving her. After various technical and emotional travails, she…

Aida at the Macerata Opera Festival

The Macerata Opera Festival celebrates its centenary season this year with the same opera that opened the first season of the festival in 1921: Verdi’s Aida. Summer opera in Macerata…