Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



Plumbago_9780993198359_1.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Performances

ETO Autumn 2020 Season Announcement: Lyric Solitude

English Touring Opera are delighted to announce a season of lyric monodramas to tour nationally from October to December. The season features music for solo singer and piano by Argento, Britten, Tippett and Shostakovich with a bold and inventive approach to making opera during social distancing.

Love, always: Chanticleer, Live from London … via San Francisco

This tenth of ten Live from London concerts was in fact a recorded live performance from California. It was no less enjoyable for that, and it was also uplifting to learn that this wasn’t in fact the ‘last’ LfL event that we will be able to enjoy, courtesy of VOCES8 and their fellow vocal ensembles (more below …).

Dreams and delusions from Ian Bostridge and Imogen Cooper at Wigmore Hall

Ever since Wigmore Hall announced their superb series of autumn concerts, all streamed live and available free of charge, I’d been looking forward to this song recital by Ian Bostridge and Imogen Cooper.

Treasures of the English Renaissance: Stile Antico, Live from London

Although Stile Antico’s programme article for their Live from London recital introduced their selection from the many treasures of the English Renaissance in the context of the theological debates and upheavals of the Tudor and Elizabethan years, their performance was more evocative of private chamber music than of public liturgy.

A wonderful Wigmore Hall debut by Elizabeth Llewellyn

Evidently, face masks don’t stifle appreciative “Bravo!”s. And, reducing audience numbers doesn’t lower the volume of such acclamations. For, the audience at Wigmore Hall gave soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn and pianist Simon Lepper a greatly deserved warm reception and hearty response following this lunchtime recital of late-Romantic song.

The Sixteen: Music for Reflection, live from Kings Place

For this week’s Live from London vocal recital we moved from the home of VOCES8, St Anne and St Agnes in the City of London, to Kings Place, where The Sixteen - who have been associate artists at the venue for some time - presented a programme of music and words bound together by the theme of ‘reflection’.

Iestyn Davies and Elizabeth Kenny explore Dowland's directness and darkness at Hatfield House

'Such is your divine Disposation that both you excellently understand, and royally entertaine the Exercise of Musicke.’

Paradise Lost: Tête-à-Tête 2020

‘And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven … that old serpent … Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.’

Joyce DiDonato: Met Stars Live in Concert

There was never any doubt that the fifth of the twelve Met Stars Live in Concert broadcasts was going to be a palpably intense and vivid event, as well as a musically stunning and theatrically enervating experience.

‘Where All Roses Go’: Apollo5, Live from London

‘Love’ was the theme for this Live from London performance by Apollo5. Given the complexity and diversity of that human emotion, and Apollo5’s reputation for versatility and diverse repertoire, ranging from Renaissance choral music to jazz, from contemporary classical works to popular song, it was no surprise that their programme spanned 500 years and several musical styles.

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields 're-connect'

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields have titled their autumn series of eight concerts - which are taking place at 5pm and 7.30pm on two Saturdays each month at their home venue in Trafalgar Square, and being filmed for streaming the following Thursday - ‘re:connect’.

Lucy Crowe and Allan Clayton join Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO at St Luke's

The London Symphony Orchestra opened their Autumn 2020 season with a homage to Oliver Knussen, who died at the age of 66 in July 2018. The programme traced a national musical lineage through the twentieth century, from Britten to Knussen, on to Mark-Anthony Turnage, and entwining the LSO and Rattle too.

Choral Dances: VOCES8, Live from London

With the Live from London digital vocal festival entering the second half of the series, the festival’s host, VOCES8, returned to their home at St Annes and St Agnes in the City of London to present a sequence of ‘Choral Dances’ - vocal music inspired by dance, embracing diverse genres from the Renaissance madrigal to swing jazz.

Royal Opera House Gala Concert

Just a few unison string wriggles from the opening of Mozart’s overture to Le nozze di Figaro are enough to make any opera-lover perch on the edge of their seat, in excited anticipation of the drama in music to come, so there could be no other curtain-raiser for this Gala Concert at the Royal Opera House, the latest instalment from ‘their House’ to ‘our houses’.

Fading: The Gesualdo Six at Live from London

"Before the ending of the day, creator of all things, we pray that, with your accustomed mercy, you may watch over us."

Met Stars Live in Concert: Lise Davidsen at the Oscarshall Palace in Oslo

The doors at The Metropolitan Opera will not open to live audiences until 2021 at the earliest, and the likelihood of normal operatic life resuming in cities around the world looks but a distant dream at present. But, while we may not be invited from our homes into the opera house for some time yet, with its free daily screenings of past productions and its pay-per-view Met Stars Live in Concert series, the Met continues to bring opera into our homes.

Precipice: The Grange Festival

Music-making at this year’s Grange Festival Opera may have fallen silent in June and July, but the country house and extensive grounds of The Grange provided an ideal setting for a weekend of twelve specially conceived ‘promenade’ performances encompassing music and dance.

Monteverdi: The Ache of Love - Live from London

There’s a “slide of harmony” and “all the bones leave your body at that moment and you collapse to the floor, it’s so extraordinary.”

Music for a While: Rowan Pierce and Christopher Glynn at Ryedale Online

“Music for a while, shall all your cares beguile.”

A Musical Reunion at Garsington Opera

The hum of bees rising from myriad scented blooms; gentle strains of birdsong; the cheerful chatter of picnickers beside a still lake; decorous thwacks of leather on willow; song and music floating through the warm evening air.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Performances

Photo by Richard Brusky
01 Jul 2019

Fun, Frothy, and Frivolous: L’elisir d’amore at Las Vegas

There are a dizzying array of choices for music entertainment in Las Vegas ranging from Celine Dion and Cher to Paul McCartney and Aerosmith. Admittedly, these performers are a far cry from opera, but the point is that Las Vegas residents have many options when it comes to live music.

Fun, Frothy, and Frivolous: L’elisir d’amore at Las Vegas

A review by Michelle Latour

Photos by Richard Brusky

 

Opera Las Vegas’ recent production of Gaetano Donzetti’s L’elisir d’amore did not disappoint. From first-rate lead characters, clever staging, and a delightful women’s ensemble, this production was highly entertaining and enjoyable.

Nemorino, sung by tenor, Christopher Bozeka, established immediately his comfort and command with this role in his opening aria, “Quanto è bella,” singing with a beautiful, clear tone that was marred only slightly by balance issues between singer and orchestra.

This minor imbalance continued into Adina’s first cavatina, “Della crudele Isotta.” Soprano Cecilia Violetta López was a bit overshadowed by the orchestra during musical passages that sat mostly in middle-voice, but her creamy and glorious tone soared above the orchestra once out of her middle range. Ms. López then displayed stunning dynamic control and exquisite shaping of musical phrases, in addition to showcasing her acting chops with engaging facial expressions and pure sass throughout.

_D503121.png

Thankfully, the orchestral imbalance was rectified by “Come Paride vezzoso,” and was not an issue for the remainder of the opera.

A highlight of the first act was “Chiedi all’aura lusingiera,” Adina and Nemorino’s duet. Their chemistry was evident as Adina tolerated Nemorino’s desperation. Here Bozeka came into his own vocally with superb phrasing, amazing dynamic control, and a breathtaking decrescendo, all the while maintaining his puppy-like despondence.

Dulcamara, sung by bass-baritone Adelmo Guidarelli, was another high spot of the opera. With an incredibly resonant timbre and strong sense of comedy, the audience was definitely buying what this consummate salesman was promoting. Although he was not perfectly in sync with the orchestra during portions of “Udite, udite, o rustici,” he was perfect for this role.

Nemorino and Dulcamara’s duet, “Voglio dire,” was pure fun. Their voices blended amazingly well and the clever and humorous staging had everyone in the audience laughing.

The Act Two duet, “Venti scudi,” featuring Nemorino and Belcore, also deserves mention. Baritone Tobias Greenhalgh proved his strong and persuasive prowess on stage. The juxtaposition between Greenhalgh’s patter outbursts and Bozeka’s legato singing was superior.

Here kudos must be given to director, Joshua Borths, for his fresh and clever staging. This was most evident in the women’s ensemble number, “Saria possible?” They outshone their male chorus counterparts consistently, and this number was no exception. Their stage entrance by sneaking in and then all heads popping up at once, perfectly synchronized to the orchestration, was purely adorable. And the women looked like they were having a rollicking good time, especially when stuffing their bras with tissue in anticipation of winning Nemorino’s heart.

2011_10_22.png

Another standout moment for López, Guidarelli, and Borths was Adina and Dulcamara’s duet, “Io son ricco e tu sei bella.” Some of the staging required a fair amount of athleticism, which looked effortless. Here Dulcamara vindicated himself for any vocal wrong doings in Act One. His patter phrases were spot on and incredibly exciting. I could listen to that all day.

Praise here should also go to conductor, Joshua Horsch, as the orchestra was consistent and solid throughout.

A touching moment was “Una furtiva lagrima,” which was gorgeously sung by Bozeka, displaying velvety tone coupled with simple and highly effective vocal delivery. He received a well-deserved “Bravo!” from the audience.

This was followed with another stellar moment from López. Her opening fermata on “Prendi” sent shivers down my spine it was so beautiful. There were several moments during her aria, “Prendi, per mei sei libero” that could melt your heart.

Joshua Horsch, Joshua Borths, the cast, and the orchestra made this performance a breath of fresh air and pure entertainment, amidst a town bursting at the seams with glitz and glamour, star power and media frenzy over the latest dayclub opening. L’elisir d’amore was an evening of delightful singing and engaging staging, displaying a high level of artistic excellence throughout.

Michelle Latour

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):