Falstaff: Santa Fe’s Belly Laughs

Santa Fe Opera welcomed Verdi’s Falstaff back to its world-renowned festival with a stylish new production marked by wit and effervescence. No company undertakes this piece without knowing they have…

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…

Santa Fe Opera M. Butterfly: Part Papillon, Part Schmetterling

It is cause for celebration that Santa Fe Opera’s prestigious annual festival presented its 18th world premiere with composer Huang Ruo and librettist David Henry Hwang’s intriguing East-West fantasy, M.…

Ethel Smyth’s The Boatswain’s Mate at the Arcola Theatre

Two days, two boatswains’ mates: the first, genuine navy lad Bill Bobstay, sailing the seas aboard Captain Corcoran’s H.M.S. Pinafore; the second, ex-soldier Ned Travers, partner-in-intrigue to former boatswain Harry…

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…

Smooth sailing on H.M.S. Pinafore at Opera Holland Park

With the ‘good ship’ Britannia heading straight towards political and economic icebergs that are all too visible, Opera Holland Park’s offer of smoothing sailing aboard H.M.S. Pinafore, with John Savournin…

Donizetti’s Rita: charming summer sparkle at the Charing Cross Theatre

Every farce needs doors, preferably at least three of them.  They must be robust enough to be slammed, frequently, and for characters to revolve through at speed, communications thwarted, connections…

L’elisir d’amore delights at West Green House Opera

The grounds of West Green House in leafy Hampshire drew from director Victoria Newlyn an inspired staging of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore.  Situating this 1832 comic opera on a Mediterranean cruise…

Des Moines’ Porgy and Bess Marks a Milestone

How was Des Moines Metro Opera’s closing performance of The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess a landmark event? Let me count the ways. First, it marked the successful completion of DMMO’s…

Frolicsome Fairies in Iowa’s Cornfields

With all the doom, gloom and dispiriting events dominating the news cycle, Des Moines Metro Opera served up a perfect antidote with a sassy yet classy staging of Benjamin Britten…