"The production’s “poor, pale Rusalka” was soprano Emily Birsan in a captivating role debut. The famous “Song to the Moon” revealed the soprano’s lovely lyric instrument and aptitude for intelligent phrasing straightaway; but it was in her anguished narrative “Ó marno, ó marno!” in Act II that she really came into her own with a laser-like ping at the top of the range and specifically pointed use of text. Her bittersweet blessing of her dead lover in Act III was shattering. T
"The strong cast was headed by Daniel Montenegro, who exhibited a plangent tenor, as the young aristocratic Luis. He was also a gifted, natural actor and didn’t seem challenged in the least by all the spoken dialogue he had to deliver." -Opera News Read full review.
"If any further proof were needed that Des Moines Metro Opera is at the forefront of operatic excellence in America, their theatrically searing, musically impeccable Wozzeck would cement this assertion. I am happy to report that although I have only ever seen good productions worldwide of this challenging Alban Berg opus, I had to come to Indianola, Iowa to see the very best. This mesmerizing performance would be at home on any world stage, and the reasons are many. In the ti
“Corey Bix sang the role of the Captain, Wozzeck’s corpulent superior who constantly berates him. Bix’s tenor voice soared through Berg’s complex score, traversing an insanely wide vocal range as he jumped from dark low tones to brassy high notes. His performance of the Captain came off as a familiar villain (aka the kind that doesn’t even realize that he is the bad guy). The Captain is too self-absorbed to even comprehend how poorly he treats Wozzeck, and Bix conveyed that n
"He might have stolen the show, except that he had a serious challenge from Craig Irvin, whose Valentin evinced a soldier’s strength and assuredness throughout. The vocal and emotional power of Irvin’s death scene in Act IV was wall-shaking. It was a shame he didn’t get to sing “Avant de quitter.”" -Opera News
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"Conductor Robert Wood have created a wholly original interpretation of Costello’s quixotic exploration of love in all its facets: raw, wanting, hurting, grasping, embracing, soaring, sorrowing...Musically delightful and demanding, the cast and orchestra unite soul deep to provide a non-stop web of sound and phrasing that arch, catlike, around the sinews of the heart. . . The orchestra, led by Wood, was perfectly twined with the ensemble. Creating mood and counterpoint, leadi
"Director Tara Faircloth used the supporting cast to advantage in a production that was at once fairly conventional — set around the time the opera was written, in the early 20th century — and quietly inventive, particularly in its use of the backstage area in Act II, so you could see what was happening on the fictive stage and what was going on behind the scenes. . . And Joshua Conyers, with his strong baritone, and Ian McEuen, with a wiry tenor, made fine foils as a kindly,
"Oh my. Let’s start with Carmen herself, sung with mesmerizing command by mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock. One has to wonder what on earth Babcock would have done with her life if she hadn’t found opera and if Bizet hadn’t written this role for her. She is so perfectly suited for this demanding part, physically and vocally, that it’s hard to imagine her doing anything else but bringing this mercurial seductress to life on stage. Hard to imagine her singing any other role, for th
"While this comic opera in two acts provided plenty of laughs, Corigliano’s score was sensational: Its color, intensity and clarity without sacrificing volume; how it slithered, thundered, or wailed for effect; or how effortlessly it moved from 18th-century style to Harry Potter mystery. Music director Joseph Colaneri conducted a superb orchestra." -Daily Gazette Read full review. "The fine soprano Joanna Latini was Rosina . . . Corigliano’s score is a riotous mix of styles —