By Keith Powers
BOSTON – Resisting Cupid proves futile in Paride ed Elena. Helen, the most beautiful of mortal women, tries not to love Paris, but rascal Cupid makes sure she does. Gluck’s taut foreshadowing of Troy plays out at Odyssey Opera.
By John Fleming
NAPLES, Fla. – Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra led by Daniel Harding struggled to get its bearings at the onset of a U.S. tour, but all was forgiven amid the splendor of a Strauss tone poem woven into its DNA.
By Matthew Westphal
PHILADELPHIA – The North American premiere of an Aix-en-Provence staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, at Opera Philadelphia, sported a delightful cast with a Puck who was game enough to vault himself into a parterre box.
By Richard S. Ginell
LOS ANGELES – Tan Dun, who had already composed a Water Passion, has come up with a terrific new twist on the idea. His Buddha Passion, in its U.S. premiere, showed universal appeal and emotional wallop sufficient to sweep the world.
By Janos Gereben
SAN FRANCISCO – Steven Mackey’s Portals, Scenes and Celebrations also honors Michael Tilson Thomas’ 25th and final season (2019-20) as San Francisco Symphony music director. MTT said he’d asked for “an easy piece.”
By Bill Rankin
CALGARY – About 1,700 Calgarians braved bitter Arctic cold to see Joby Talbot’s 2015 Everest at Calgary Opera. The largely Canadian cast featured bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch as a climber left for dead. The staging originated in Dallas.
By Michael Huebner
ATLANTA – The Atlanta Opera revealed how composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally have assured the work’s staying power – by allowing a true story to unfold with grit and fervor in easily digestible musical language.
By John Fleming
MIAMI – Can a soprano sing and conduct at the same time? Can music from Berg’s Lulu and Gershwin’s Girl Crazy hang out together? Barbara Hannigan and the Cleveland Orchestra, on its winter sojourn in Florida, say Yes.
By Jason Victor Serinus
SEATTLE – Caroline Shaw’s absorbing new piano concerto, Watermark, offered a response to Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Pianist Jonathan Biss and conductor Ludovic Morlot soldiered on despite a medical emergency in the auditorium.