"But it's Cassandra Zoe Velasco, as Butterfly's loyal and loving maid Suzuki, whose best encapsulates the audience's revulsion at Pinkerton's cavalier thoughtlessness, seething with rage even as she retains her placid demeanor while watching her mistress' heart shattered beyond recognition."
-BroadwayWorld Read full review. "Cassandra Zoé Velasco’s Suzuki (Butterfly’s maid) and Lester Lynch as Sharpless (the U.S. Consul) are standouts. Both characters are the proverbial can
"Ismaele was sung the first night by Robert Watson. . . Watson’s youthful tenor established the character’s purity and innocence. . . In the Part I trio between Fenena, Ismaele, and Abigaille, Watson’s youthful tone combined with Schlicht’s exquisite mezzo to create an evocative contrast between the young lovers, on one hand, and Abigaille’s apparent unadulterated evil."
-Opera Wire Read full review.
"With this performance, Russian-American conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya made a most impressive Arizona Opera debut. Her beat was cogent and her cues were always on time. She proves that it is knowledge, musicality, and administrative ability that bring a conductor to important podiums."
-OperaWire.com Read full review. "Although we never saw the bloody murders, conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya, Chicago Opera Theater’s music director, accentuated shattering brass and quivering stri
"Craig Irvin as Orest made a vivid impression, completing a front-line vocal roster whose stamina never wavered through the 100-minute, intermission-free span of the opera...In director Brian Staufenbiel’s updating, the characters of Strauss’ opera are actually actors filming “Elektra” — a bloody tale of familial dysfunction — on a studio soundstage, with the orchestra on set behind them...Fussy as it sounds, Staufenbiel’s decision to present “Elektra” as an opera within a mo
"As Figaro, bass-baritone Calvin Griffin delivered a performance that could have been on any opera stage in the world. He sang with a sturdy and even sound from the top to the bottom of his voice and brought colorful diction and easy freedom to the part. . . Susannah Biller has a thick, regal sound well-suited to Countess Almaviva; her third act aria of romantic neglect, “Dove sono,” showed beautiful, legato singing." -Shepherd Express Read full review. "“Susannah Biller comb
In Review: In Pittsburgh Opera's Don Giovanni, a noir spin proves arresting, thought-provoking "When serial womanizer and sexual deviant Don Giovanni meets his operatic demise, it’s impossible not to consider the parallels to some of opera’s real-life stars. In recent years, conductors, singers and musicians have been dragged down from pedestals, if not into hell then certainly into the court of public opinion after credible accusations of sexual impropriety have come to ligh
"Baritone Michael Mayes made a conniving Tonio, the circus performer who longs to possess Nedda for himself. With a rich tone that easily cut through the orchestral accompaniment, Mayes conveyed the character’s fall into jealousy and vengeance. As Taddeo in the Intermezzo, Mayes found a sudden humor, stuttering his lines on purpose to aptly wry effect. . . Leoncavallo sets his story with sweeping melodies and lustrous orchestration, and conductor David Angus, leading with swi
Lyric Opera review: A wickedly funny ‘Barber of Seville’ begins season "Lyric Opera of Chicago launched its 65th season on Saturday night with a laugh.Quite a few of them, actually, thanks to a wickedly funny, elegantly sung, cleverly directed production of Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” . . . You don’t often hear opera audiences laughing out loud – constantly and with abandon – as they did during this evening. But Rob Ashford’s original direction, revived from the 2013-14