Die Fledermaus

And the Band Played On

March 20, 2019 | By Heidi Ellison | Music

A sparkling production of Johann Strauss the Younger‘s Die Fledermaus by the Academy of the Paris Opera is being performed at the MC 93 theater in the Paris suburb of Bobigny before touring four French cities. With a terrific cast … Read More

Tosca

Crosses to Bear in Puccini Opera

September 21, 2016 | By Nick Hammond | Music

I must admit to a longstanding prejudice against the music of Giacomo Puccini. For me, the music and action of an opera should form a cohesive whole, but in Puccini’s case, the melodies are too frothily beautiful for their own … Read More

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

March 2, 2016 | By Nick Hammond | Music

Wagner Lightens UpAfter Über-Serious Works Gerald Finley as Hans Sachs and Bo Skovhus as Sixtus Beckmesser in Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.” © Vincent Pontet/Opéra National de Paris On first encounter, Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg would seem to … Read More

La Damnation de Faust

December 8, 2015 | By Nick Hammond | Music

Weirdly Wonderful OperaBooed on Opening Night La Damnation de Faust. Photo © Felipe Sanguinetti Hector Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, a weirdly wonderful work labeled a “dramatic legend” rather than an opera by the composer, seems better suited to the 21st … Read More

Moses und Aron

November 4, 2015 | By Nick Hammond | Music

Breaking Out ofThe Operatic Comfort Zone A Charolais bull plays the golden calf in Moses und Aron. Photo © Bernd Uhlig If the slogan currently emblazoned across the huge facade of the Bastille Opera House – “Verdi or Schoenberg, why … Read More

Alceste

February 7, 2010 | By Nick Hammond | Archive

Fine Cast and OrchestraCarry Revived Production The orchestra onstage. Photo © Julien Benhamou It can sometimes be instructive to revisit an operatic production viewed previously, and I was glad to have the chance to see the return of Olivier Py’s … Read More

Le Cid

February 7, 2010 | By Nick Hammond | Archive

Grand Themes,Intimate Singing Court scene. Photo © Agathe Poupeney. The appearance of Pierre Corneille’s play Le Cid in 1637 had a long-lasting effect on French cultural life. Not only did its subject matter – the young hero Rodrigue is forced to … Read More