Turandot at the Arena di Verona

Spectacle is what the Arena di Verona does best, spectacle is what the late Franco Zefferelli did best, Turandot is an opera that lends itself to spectacle like no other.…

The new Bayreuth Tristan und Isolde

This new production by Roland Schwab, conducted by Markus Poschner was given an ecstatic welcome by the acolytes of Wagner’s revered Festspielhaus. There were, in fact, occasional, very occasional moments…

Three Operas at Salzburg’s Rock Riding School

The huge stage (Felsenreitschule) that is carved into the massive rock face that is the Salzburg Festival’s backdrop — Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Janacek’s Kat’a Kabanova (lead photo), and Carl…

l’incoronazione di Poppea in Aix

It is hard to say which was more impressive just now in Aix’s tiny Jeu de Paume theater — the musical edition of the Monteverdi masterpiece realized by conductor Leonardo…

Moïse et Pharaon in Aix

Rossini at the hand of a non-Rossinian, stage director Tobias Kratzer, to the baton of a real Rossinian, conductor Michele Mariotti. At the downbeat it was pure Rossini, Mo. Mariotti…

Il Viaggio, Dante in Aix

A world premiere, the tenth opera of 67 year old, prolific French composer Pascal Dusapin in a production that will move on to Paris, Saarbrücken and Luxembourg. In the staging…

“Resurrection” in Aix

Gustav Mahler himself once offered a program guide to his magnificent symphonic resurrection, later renounced. Just now at the Aix Festival stage director Romeo Castellucci has tried again, and maybe…

Idomeneo at the Aix Festival

Idomeneo, said to be one of the great operas of all times in a magnificent production at Pierre Audi’s Aix Festival. Though the Mozart opera seria itself had been filtered…

Salome at the Aix Festival

A ponderous reading of the Strauss score, a meticulous, methodical staging of the Oscar Wilde  drama. A radiant Salome, an unleashed Herod. Unsettling, sentient scenography. Unexpected magnificence. High, very high…

Platée at the Palais Garnier (Paris)

The French are indeed “frogs!” Rameau’s Platée (1745) as told by stage director Laurent Pelly is yet another proof. This production appeared first in 1999, then again in 2005, 2007…