Tag Archives: Puccini

Madama Butterfly Review – Opera San Jose’s Provocative Take on Puccini’s Classic Favorite

There is only one possible word to describe Act I of the opera I saw on Sunday, February 16, 2014 – Beautiful. Never has Puccini’s gorgeous music been played with such delicate precision.  Continue reading »

Posted in Opera Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Schicchi Review – Part Two of Opera San José’s double bill from Puccini’s Il Trittico

Twenty-minutes after the ethereal redemption that ended Suor Angelica I’m back in my seat applauding Maestro Joseph Marcheso as he makes his way to the podium. He well deserves the applause for the way he led the orchestra in perfect sync with the action and the singing through all the rapid swings of mood throughout the first opera. And with the crashing discords that begin the overture, we immediately know that the forthcoming mood will be drastically different from the emotional wringer we have just been through. Continue reading »

Posted in Opera Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Angelica Review – Part One of Opera San José’s double bill from Puccini’s Il Trittico

There is so much to say about the wonderful production that I saw on Sunday, April 14, 2013, that I am going to do it in two reviews. Here is my review of Suor Angelica; the review of Gianni Schicchi will appear shortly.  Continue reading »

Posted in Opera Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tosca Review – All Toscas are Above Average

Years and years ago when I was a lad of sixty or so I attended performances of the Minneapolis Symphony and the Minnesota Opera.  I would then read the review of the performance in the Minneapolis paper and become extremely annoyed by the music critic Continue reading »

Posted in Opera Review | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Il Trittico Review – Three Operas for the Price of One

On Sunday, February 5, 2012, and again on Tuesday I saw my second complete Il Trittico and I was reinforced in two of my opinions.  One, that Puccini’s three one-acts are even better taken as a whole, and two, that an ROH production with Conductor Antonio Pappano and Stage Director Richard Jones will be first rate. Continue reading »

Posted in Opera Review | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tosca ROH – A Five-* Production

Tosca is one of my favorite operas.  The complex dramatic plot and the sublime music of Giacomo Puccini alone are enough to put it in my top ten. First, the music is so melodic, so listenable that I find myself humming bits of it for weeks after attending a performance.  In addition, the music and the words and the action are so perfectly blended that the whole is far greater the sum of its already great parts. Continue reading »

Posted in Opera Review | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

La Bohème – Opera San José Produces a Winner

La Bohème is Puccini at his most tender and sympathetic. He loves these foolish young Parisians because he was once a struggling bohemian just like them. He understands their happiness and pain, and he is never judgmental. His music pierces our hearts with its beauty and directness. For generations, La Bohème has been the best first opera, the best date opera, and, for many, the best opera.”
Continue reading »

Posted in Opera Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Turandot – A small opera company takes on a big opera – and produces a masterpiece

I love West Bay Opera and was thrilled to find that their production of Turandot by Puccini more than held its own in comparison to the Met HD’s performance.

Continue reading »

Posted in Opera Review | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Girl of the Golden West – Deborah Voigt is pure gold

In 1907 Giacomo Puccini was in New York for the American Premiere of his latest opera Madama Butterfly.  While there he saw David Belasco’s play, The Girl of the Golden West, and remarked, “That is my next opera.” Continue reading »

Posted in Opera Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tosca at Opera San Jose – The Ultimate Opera

No question about it.  As of this moment, Puccini’s Tosca is my favorite opera.  At its best it has everything you could ask for in an opera.  It has Floria Tosca, a beautiful devout heroine who commits murder.  It has Baron Scarpia, the very personification of evil.  It has Mario Cavaradossi who submits to torture rather than betray his friend.  It has spine-chilling climaxes to each of its three acts.  And it has Puccini’s music which is not only wonderful in its own right, but which perfectly fits the plot and the action.  Not a note is misplaced, not a note is extraneous, not a note is missing.  Tosca at its best is THE essential tragic opera. Continue reading »

Posted in Opera Review | Tagged , , | Leave a comment