La traviata in Marseille

Three fine singers saved Marseille Opéra’s recent 5 performance run of La traviata. Marred by a bizarre pit and weird staging conceits, Verdi’s middle period masterwork emerged, in spite of…

Adriana Lecouvreur in Paris

The one by Francesco Cilea. There are several others by forgotten composers. This one sits uneasily in the verismo category given its hyper contrived plot and its historical setting. Leading…

Giulio Cesare in Paris

This Laurent Pelly production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare is wily indeed, enriching Handel’s estimation of antiquity’s most famous female with supreme wit. Were it pure Baroque  opera seria these current…

Beatrice di Tenda in Paris

Bellini’s second to last opera, Beatrice di Tenda, was not a success at its 1833 Venice premiere, though subsequent performances are said to have overcome the opera’s macabre horrors through…

Eugene Onegin returns to the New National Theatre Tokyo

First unveiled in 2019 (reviewed by David Chandler here: The New Season at the New National Theatre, Tokyo – Opera Today), this revival of Dmitry Bertman’s Eugene Onegin – his…

Tosca returns to the Royal Opera House

For a successful theatre production to work well, Puccini once asserted, there were three fixed laws. He claimed these should be a necessity ‘to interest, to surprise, to move’. This…

The Handmaid’s Tale returns to English National Opera

Nearly upended by a proposed strike from ENO musicians, which was averted for the opening night, the revival of this production of Poul Ruders’ The Handmaid’s Tale, first unveiled in…

Die Frau ohne Schatten in Toulouse

The fifth opera in the Richard Strauss canon — the one that is truly gigantic — staged just now at Toulouse’s acoustically famed 1150 seat Theatre du Capitole in the…

Chornobyldorf: An Archaeological Opera in Seven Novels

For two weeks in January each year, the Prototype Festival brings small-scale and experimental musical theater to New York.  The focus is on new works that draw not so much…

‘Love, viewed from the dark side’: Christof Loy’s production of Strauss’s Elektra at the Royal Opera House

Skimming through some of the critical literature on the myth of Electra – who, following the murder of her father, the Mycenaean King Agamemnon, at the hands of her mother…