A Stunning Start to University Opera’s Season

“Coronation of Poppea” truly a crowning achievement   I’ve developed the deplorable habit of opening my review blogs with a whining apology for being so untimely in my posting, but in the case of University Opera’s production of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea (“The Coronation of Poppea”), I needed more time to digest it than it… Continue reading A Stunning Start to University Opera’s Season

Crying In Our Coffee: Madison Bach Musicians’ Fascinating Double Bill

Trevor Stephenson closes MBM season with light Bach, heavy Purcell The close of the Madison Bach Musicians  season (pictured above in a 2015 performance) gave me the opportunity to cross two famous works off my must-hear list: Bach’s frothy secular cantata, BWV 211 (known rightly as the “Coffee Cantata”), and Purcell’s seminal opera, Dido and… Continue reading Crying In Our Coffee: Madison Bach Musicians’ Fascinating Double Bill

University Opera Offers a Gem in a Bejewelled Setting

Shannon Hall is home for the weekend for a memorable La Boheme   One of the British comedienne (and wannabe Wagnerian soprano) Anna Russell’s greatest lines was “That’s the beauty of opera…you can do anything…so long as you sing it!” The original context was in her monologue about the absurdly incestuous relationships among the principals… Continue reading University Opera Offers a Gem in a Bejewelled Setting

University Opera Staging “Unanswers” All the Right Questions

Performance of Turn of the Screw evocatively staged   Bet you didn’t know that University Opera has a thing or two on Los Angeles Opera… Ok, forgive me a little hyperbole, but in the case of the production of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, there is some truth to it. It’s been at… Continue reading University Opera Staging “Unanswers” All the Right Questions

Some Teachable (and Cherishable) Moments

University Opera’s Falstaff a worthy addition to all the Shakespeare celebrations I have a unique—if somewhat fuzzy—memory of the first time I saw Verdi’s final masterpiece, Falstaff. It was the very first opera I’d ever seen, it was at the Metropolitan Opera, no less—and painful to admit that the music in general did not make… Continue reading Some Teachable (and Cherishable) Moments

University Opera Makes a Case for “Transformations”

The Conrad Susa/Anne Sexton opera is given a compelling performance When it comes to finding an opportunity to experience operatic roads far less traveled by, thank heavens for University Opera: While doing their part in training young singers and crews with staples like last autumn’s Marriage of Figaro, they do themselves and their audience an… Continue reading University Opera Makes a Case for “Transformations”

“Schubertiade” at Mills Hall a True Time-warp Party

One can hardly help but read about “Schubertiades”—those evenings when friends of Franz Schubert would gather at his place and sing and play through the night—and not fervently wish for some sort of a musical time machine to whisk us back a couple of centuries. Thanks to Bill Lutes and Martha Fischer, we’ve got the… Continue reading “Schubertiade” at Mills Hall a True Time-warp Party