Opera the Way It Was Meant to Be

Madison Opera opens its 59th season with a spot-on La Traviata   Call me old-fashioned—or if you prefer, an old-school conservative—but when it comes to the way an opera should look, I generally want operas such as Carmen to look the way they did when the creative teams created them. Thus I came away from… Continue reading Opera the Way It Was Meant to Be

“Thirty-Onederfuls” Are Coming!

Being a series of reflections and snapshots of 31 years of reviewing…and a lifetime of listening   Any of my regular readers who have been signed up for about a year and a half or so may remember that I touted a new series of posts collectively titled “Thirty-Somethings.” November 1, 2018 was the 30th… Continue reading “Thirty-Onederfuls” Are Coming!

“Rusalka” Proves an Elusive Fairy Tale

Madison Opera closes season with Dvorak’s on-again, off-again near-masterpiece   What to do with Rusalka? Just like the Prince in Dvorak and Kvapil’s telling of the Czech version of “The Little Mermaid,” we can never fully possess her as a woman, and, while he may decide that as a water sprite she really is to… Continue reading “Rusalka” Proves an Elusive Fairy Tale

There’s a New Prince in Town

John Lindsey aims to charm Madison Opera audiences in Dvorak’s Rusalka   John Lindsey undoubtedly cut a fine figure (and surely sang well) in his Madison Opera debut last summer at Opera in the Park. But this weekend will mark his stage debut for the company, as it closes its season with Dvorak’s luminous fairy-tale… Continue reading There’s a New Prince in Town

Madison Opera Goes Old School

Some great singing and a traditional approach revive “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci”   It has been more than 30 years since Madison Opera staged that once-ubiquitous double bill of one-act operas, “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci.” That’s nothing—I’ve been attending and listening to opera for a little over half a century, and I never managed to… Continue reading Madison Opera Goes Old School

Madison Opera’s Must-See—MUST HEAR—“Florencia”

The final dress rehearsal of Catan’s mystical/lyrical work enchants and moves us   I have looked forward to seeing and hearing Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas for a year now…and when I discovered that work and a prior commitment would prevent that this weekend, it was a real disappointment. It hadn’t occurred to me… Continue reading Madison Opera’s Must-See—MUST HEAR—“Florencia”

Homegrown Mozart from Madison Opera Tastier Than Ever

Abduction from the Seraglio warms up the Capitol Theater   We are often admonished to “buy local,” but to the degree this can be done in the world of opera, it’s a real rarity. Even the largest companies still co-produce new works and new stagings with other companies, and in the case of regional companies,… Continue reading Homegrown Mozart from Madison Opera Tastier Than Ever

Madison Opera’s Carmen So Easy to Love

Baseball may be over, but the season-opener is a home run It isn’t just that Bizet’s incarnation of Carmen, the wanton gypsy girl who ruins lives almost as quickly as the composer strung together hit numbers in his opera, seduces Don Jose so easily—she is responsible for ensnaring many a first-time listener into the world… Continue reading Madison Opera’s Carmen So Easy to Love

Madison Opera’s “Flute” Finds Plenty of Vocal Magic

Mozart’s late hybrid stage work proves a hit Friday night   Okay, let’s get this out of the way right now: Yours truly is not the optimal critic for a performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. I didn’t fall under its spell when I first heard it about 45 years ago, and no version since,… Continue reading Madison Opera’s “Flute” Finds Plenty of Vocal Magic

Young Leads Win Hearts in Madison Opera’s “Romeo”

A tender Romeo et Juliette opens Madison Opera’s 56th season The timeless story of the bitter and deadly feud between the Montagues and Capulets might have been well-timed for the divisiveness of our current electoral state nationally, but the better news is that Madison Opera’s production of Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette was sweet salve for… Continue reading Young Leads Win Hearts in Madison Opera’s “Romeo”