Advertisement
HomeCollectionsWashington Opera
IN THE NEWS

Washington Opera

FEATURED ARTICLES
FEATURES
By David Donovan and David Donovan,Special to The Sun | January 10, 1995
The Washington Opera production of "Semele" by George Frederic Handel opened Saturday night at the Kennedy Center with a splendid cast, excellent sets and a sense of wit and humor that brought this Baroque masterpiece to life."
ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2014
With a riot of color onstage, Washington National Opera's presentation of "The Magic Flute" could not be more visually animated if it tried. There's a good deal to entertain the ears as well. This co-production with four other companies is, above all, a showcase for Japanese-born, Omaha-based artist Jun Kaneko. His set and costume design, a kind of pop art/classic Asian fusion, gives Mozart's opera a fresh flash of fantasy, not to mention whimsy. If there are times when the stylized look seems arbitrary (many of the projections suggest a digital Etch A Sketch)
Advertisement
FEATURES
By Ernest F. Imhoff and Ernest F. Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff | October 15, 1991
The Washington Opera and the D.C. Federation of Musicians Local 161-710 representing the opera orchestra will resume contract talks Oct. 16, one day before the company makes a final decision on whether to cancel its first production. Verdi's "Don Carlo" is set to open Nov. 9 at the Kennedy Center.Martin Feinstein, general director, said the company would make a final decision about "Don Carlo" Oct. 17. The old contract expired Aug. 31. Talks started in June and were last held Sept. 30.The next day the company said the parties were at "an apparent impasse" and that the opera may have to cancel part or all of its 1991-92 season of 63 performances.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 24, 2014
Comic operas don't come more endearing than Donizetti's "L'elisir d'amore"  ("The Elixir of Love"). The humor in this rustic tale, which involves a lovesick guy buying a potion (just plain old wine) from a snake-oil salesman to melt the heart of an indifferent woman, still has good miles left on it, as Washington National Opera's lively revival at the Kennedy Center reconfirms. But the tender side of the work is what ultimately counts the most, and that's what this production brings out with particular effectiveness.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith | January 22, 2003
One-fourth of Wagner's Ring Cycle, an operatic treatment of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, and the original 1853 version of Verdi's La Traviata are among the attractions of Washington Opera's 2003-2004 season. Artistic director Placido Domingo spent part of his 62nd birthday yesterday holding a news conference to announce the lineup and discuss the company's new temporary home at DAR Constitution Hall. That hall is currently being refurbished and reconfigured to accommodate Washington Opera productions for a year, starting next month with Aida and continuing with Don Giovanni and Fidelio this season, while the Kennedy Center Opera House is being renovated.
FEATURES
By David Donovan and David Donovan,Special to The Sun | November 16, 1994
The revival of the Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production of Mozart's operatic masterpiece "Le Nozze di Figaro" ("The Marriage of Figaro"), which received its second performance Monday night at the Kennedy Center Opera House, is a triumph in every way.The opera is perfectly cast, the sets and costume are first-class, and the supreme music of Mozart is given its proper center-stage attention. The stage direction is intelligent, witty and very lively. This is a must-see Washington Opera production, and remaining shows have sold out.The four-act opera is done in two extended acts, with scene changes occurring at the middle of both acts.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 15, 1995
WASHINGTON -- Revivals of his hitherto obscure operas in recent years makes one doubt the existence of "minor" Verdi operas. "Luisa Miller" is not exactly obscure Verdi, but even the Washington Opera's somewhat flawed current production makes the opera seem very major indeed.The composer called "Luisa Miller," the 14th opera in the first 10 years of his career, a "tragic melodrama." He was not exaggerating: several murders, including what is in effect a double suicide; political and sexual intrigue; betrayals of sons by fathers and lovers by their beloveds; sadistic pleasures; and much, much more.
FEATURES
By David Donovan and David Donovan,Special to The Sun | November 7, 1994
The Washington Opera opened its 1994-95 season Saturday night at the Kennedy Center Opera House with a generally very pleasurable production of Gounod's "Faust."This opera is full of justifiably popular and familiar arias and choruses. This production may not be on the level of the finest French productions, but it is well worth experiencing on its own merits.The main reason to see this particular production is the diabolically sinister portrayal of Mephistopheles by Jeffrey Wells. He is imposing both vocally and physically.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 31, 1996
For the second time in what is still a young season, the Washington Opera on Saturday night introduced another new work to its repertory. It was Manuel Penella's "El Gato Montes" ("The Wildcat").You may not have heard of Penella (1880-1939) -- he rates only a single paragraph in the New Grove Dictionary of Opera -- but he was one of Spain's most prolific composers, producing some 80 zarzuelas, musical comedies and revues between 1894 and the year of his death. "El Gato" belongs to the tradition of the zarzuela, the Spanish equivalent of what is called operetta in Vienna, opera-comique in Paris and Broadway musical in New York.
FEATURES
By David Donovan and David Donovan,Special to The Sun | January 17, 1995
The opera "Vanessa," a neglected American masterpiece by Samuel Barber, was given a superb production by the Washington Opera Saturday in the opening performance of its month-long run at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater.The opera, which premiered at the Metropolitan Opera Jan. 15, 1958, was immediately hailed and p,5l won the Pulitzer Prize for music. With the libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti, "Vanessa" represented only the second time in music history that two great composers collaborated in an operatic effort (the other being Arrigo Boito and Giuseppe Verdi in "Otello")
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | December 19, 2013
Folks convinced there's a "war on Christmas" should hurry to the Kennedy Center and catch a new opera that is as Christmas as all get out. We're talking Mary, Joseph and a no vacancy sign at the inn. We're talking a watchful angel and a bright star.  OK, so there's a unicorn, too. And a lion. And some occasionally cheeky contemporary humor. But, hey, the bottom line is still faith, hope and love, and you can't argue with that.  Washington National Opera, where cool things seem to happen more often since Francesca Zambello became artistic director, is presenting the world premiere of "The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me" this holiday season.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | October 14, 2013
If it is your destiny to be anywhere near the Kennedy Center during the next couple of weeks, check out Washington National Opera's new production of Verdi's "La forza del destino. " The force of it may surprise you -- and quite possibly thrill, confound, amuse or annoy you, too. You will certainly not be unaffected. I can well imagine opera fans raising any number of objections to director Francesca Zambello's concept (I've got one or two of them myself). But at Saturday night's opener, I found it easy to jump onto the eventful ride and let the qualms slip away, especially since the performance, featuring notable company debuts onstage and in the pit, was so electric.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 17, 2013
If we can believe the story -- and, really, what stories about this  megalomaniacal guy can't we believe? -- Wagner called "Tristan und Isolde" a "wonder," and declared: "I shall never be able to understand how I could have written anything like it. " There's still something dismaying about this transcendent fusion of music and drama, propelled by revolutionary harmony, heated by a rare, poetic urgency. There's something a little dismaying, too, about Washington National Opera's season-opening production of "Tristan," one of its greatest efforts the company has made in the past dozen or so years.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 8, 2013
Celebrated soprano Deborah Voigt has withdrawn from Washington National Opera's season-opening production of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" a week before the first performance. She will be replaced by Ireene Theorin on Sept. 15, 18, 21, and 24, and by Alwyn Mellor for the final performance Sept. 27. Here's Voigt's statement, released by WNO: "Returning to a role that I love but haven't sung in a number of seasons, and encountering its unique challenges, has caused me to reconsider keeping it in my repertoire,.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2013
Time was when American opera companies considered musicals as suspect artifacts from another planet, hardly worthy of serious attention -- not even on a par with the operettas those companies would occasionally stage when they needed a box office lift. Bit by bit, thinking has changed at a lot of places, and a welcome thing, too. Washington National Opera has enthusiastically embraced this broader view, offering an inspired staging of the path-breaking 1927 musical "Show Boat," a co-production with the Lyric Opera of Chicago (where it debuted last year)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 12, 2013
It's easy to find opera lovers who dismiss the present state of the art in favor of some distant "golden age. " Actually, it has always been that way. Folks who now wax nostalgic about, say, the heyday of Leontyne Price and Franco Corelli would have run into people back then saying, "You think this is great? You should have heard Ponselle and Martinelli. " And, of course, in the indisputably grand era of Caruso, you just know someone in the audience would have been going on and on about how much better it was back when Jean de Reszke was in his prime.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | January 10, 1994
The Washington Opera's current production of Richard Strauss' "Ariadne auf Naxos" is almost pure magic: beautiful sets, insightful direction, wizardly lighting and solid singing make it as good as anything you're likely to see on stage this season."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 24, 2013
For most people, the attractions of Christmas do not include the possibility of children roasting over an open fire. But that has not kept Engelbert Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel" from becoming a favorite opera at Christmastide. Based on a vivid tale by the Brothers Grimm and first performed Dec. 23, 1893, Humperdinck's most famous opera does, of course, feature lots of talk and images of sweets, notably gingerbread. So it's easy to make a seasonal tie-in, which is what Washington National Opera did over the weekend with a revival of its 2007 family-friendly production.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2010
Verdi's "A Masked Ball" makes an appropriately grand choice for Washington National Opera's season opener. It's a big-gesture work with terrific sweep, yet one with many a subtle musical and dramatic detail. The composer was forced by government censors to turn the opera's plot about the assassination of Sweden's King Gustavus III into an unlikely scenario set in Colonial Boston. But like some other companies these days, WNO restores the original Swedish setting. Although Salvatore Licitra doesn't always use his sizable tenor gracefully, his singing as Gustavus has a certain visceral appeal.
Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.