Author Archive | Robert Levine

Eleonora Buratto A Wonderful New Butterfly At The Met

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NY; April 27, 2022—One of the Met’s productions that is always worth re-visiting is Anthony Minghella’s sensitive handling of Puccini’s saddest opera, Madama Butterfly, which was new in the 2007-2008 season. It has lost none of its luster. Michael Levine’s use of the entire Met stage, with a mirrored ceiling […]

Continue Reading

Verdi’s Grand Don Carlos Takes The Met’s Stage By Storm

The Metropolitan Opera returned to performances after a month-long hiatus on February 28th with three firsts: Managing Director Peter Gelb’s call for a moment of silence in honor of the war-victimized Ukrainians; the singing of the Ukrainian National Anthem by the Met Chorus; and the first-ever performance of Verdi’s Don Carlos, the original, five-act, French […]

Continue Reading

Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones Triumphs At The Met

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, New York October 1, 2021—The big, operatic news in New York has been that the Met is presenting the first opera by a Black composer in its 138-year history. The real news is how potent, persuasive, chilling, and stunning Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut up in My Bones actually is. Debuted in […]

Continue Reading

Fine Performance of Korngold’s Dreamlike Die Tote Stadt at Bard

Bard Summerscape, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.; August 18, 2019—For almost 20 years now, Bard College, at Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, has been presenting, under music director Leon Botstein, important operas outside of the familiar repertory of the major opera companies. Works by Chabrier, Smyth, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Blitzstein, Zemlinsky, and others have met with audience and critical […]

Continue Reading

Up-To-Date, Lively Mikado From Bronx Opera

Lehman College, Bronx, N.Y; April 28, 2019—A visit last weekend to the Bronx Opera’s spring presentation at Lehman College of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado was a delight. Updated and free of any japanoisserie or yellow-face to “now”, with a back wall projection of the White House and signs reading “Titipu.gov”, we find ourselves in […]

Continue Reading

Transparent, Illuminating Monteverdi From Tenet

Church of St Jean Baptiste, Lexington and 76th Street, New York; January 3, 2019—Tenet’s Green Mountain Project is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and as usual, and gratefully, Monteverdi’s great Vespers of 1610 is central to their programming. Their approach to the work always has been devotional rather than celebratory, but this hardly means the reading […]

Continue Reading

Radvanovsky A Brilliant Tosca At The Met

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, New York, N.Y. November 5, 2018—The David McVicar Tosca that replaced the hated Luc Bondy production is a finely traditional affair. It arrived at the Met on New Year’s Eve, 2017, with Sonya Yoncheva and Vittorio Grigolo as the protagonists, and as was becoming their youth and charm, he portrayed […]

Continue Reading

Superb All-Haydn Program From Clarion

Church of St Jean Baptiste, 76th st and Lexington Avenue, NY; May 23, 2018—On the evening of May 23rd, the now- 60-year-old Clarion Orchestra and Choir gave the last concert of its under-publicized season at the Church of St Jean Baptiste. A major influence on the music of the Baroque and Classical era in the […]

Continue Reading

A Shining, Brilliant Star Joins the Cast of Lucia at the Met

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NY. April 11, 2018–After a run of five performances of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in which tenor Vittorio Grigolo far outshone the evening’s Lucia–the puzzlingly bad Olga Peretyatko–April 11th brought a welcome role debut at the Met in the person of Jessica Pratt. The 39-year-old British/Australian soprano has been lauded […]

Continue Reading

Stylized Look, Virtuoso Singing in Met’s Semiramide

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NY; March 6, 2018—Rossini’s Semiramide, all four hours of it, is more a pageant and showcase than it is a dramatic whole. It’s not easy to engage an audience in the politics of ancient Babylon, so, as was his wont, Rossini keeps us riveted by showing us what singers are […]

Continue Reading