Pelléas et Mélisande in Montpellier

A third staging of French stage director Benjamin Lazar’s poetic and sophisticated production (Malmö in 2017 and Karlsruhe in 2019), highly refined in Montpellier by an early music tenor as…

Werther in Monte-Carlo

A superb cast, an inspired maestro, an intimate theater, an operatic masterpiece (the eighteenth of Massenet’s thirty-six operas), Werther in Monte-Carlo was a thrilling bombardment of emotional crises.  From the…

Les Vêpres Siciliennes in Palermo

Ossia I Vespri Siciliani takes its name from the evening prayer to which the faithful are called by the ringing of bells. Specifically the bells of Verdi’s Sicilian vespers signal…

Kát’a Kabanova in Rome

The Opera di Roma marks the centenary of Janacek’s intimate domestic tragedy Kat’a Kabanova with a new cast for Richard Jones’ prize winning, 2019 Covent Garden production. Reportedly spell binding…

Cosi fan tutte in San Francisco

Cosi fan tutte (1790), the little sister of the Mozart Da Ponte trilogy, was mounted last night in the same set used by its older brother The Marriage of Figaro…

Fidelio in San Francisco

A superb cast, a fine production, inspired conducting, classy orchestra and a classy chorus, a wired audience — it was Fidelio last night at the War Memorial Opera House. To…

The Golden Cockerel at the Aix Festival

It was Rimsky Korsakov’s last opera, his 1907 masterpiece Le Coq d’Or in one fell swoop (no intermission). In Aix Pushkin’s poetic Tzar Dodon met his fate, his head smashed,…

Apocalypse and Combat in Aix

Pierre Audi’s 2021 Aix Festival included two small pieces that continue the Festival’s operatic exploration of the larger Mediterranean world, meanwhile connecting the Festival’s general director to his Lebanese roots.…

Le nozze di Figaro at the Aix Festival

Mozart meets hysteria in this new staging of his masterpiece by Dutch metteur en scène Lotte de Beer, to the quick and just baton of conductor Thomas Hengelbrock and his Balthaser…

Innocence at the Aix Festival

This was the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s new opera that will come soon to Helsinki, Amsterdam, London, New New York and San Francisco, its co-commissioners. Finland born composer Saariaho…