MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

How Do You Stage an Opera During a Pandemic?

My latest story for Seattle Times, on a new, COVID-era staging of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore by Seattle Opera:

The course of true love never did run smooth.”

Shakespeare’s observation applies as much to effective artistic strategy as to human psychology. Even the sunniest of love stories needs complications to get the audience to invest its attention. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made Seattle Opera confront some unprecedented curveballs in order to realize its new production of Gaetano Donizetti’s lighthearted, seductively tuneful opera The Elixir of Love….

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Filed under: directors, Donizetti, Seattle Opera

Maria Stuarda at Seattle Opera: Donizetti Fever Rages on from Coast to Coast

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Joyce El-Khoury in the title role of Maria Stuarda; image credit: Jacob Lucas

My review of Maria Stuarda at Seattle Opera — where soprano Joyce El-Khoury has made a spectacular company debut — is now posted on Bachtrack:

Tudormania continues its invasion of America. Later this month at the Met, Sondra Radvanovsky will have added the third and final jewel to her Donizetti crown when she sings Elizabeth in Roberto Devereux. And across the continent, Seattle Opera has been presenting its company debut of Maria Stuarda (1835).

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Filed under: bel canto, directors, Donizetti, review, Seattle Opera

The Standard Rep at Santa Fe Opera: Summer 2015

Alex Penda as Salome; photo © Ken Howard for Santa Fe Opera, 2015

Alex Penda as Salome; photo © Ken Howard for Santa Fe Opera, 2015

Along with my Cold Mountain coverage, here’s the round-up review of three opera productions I wrote for Musical America, in the order in which they impressed me: Salome, Rigoletto, and The Daughter of the Regiment). (Sorry for the paywall, which prevents me from presenting the whole text here.)

SANTA FE — With the world premiere of Cold Mountain and the announcement of a newly commissioned opera about Steve Jobs by Mason Bates, Santa Fe Opera has been in the media spotlight over the past week. The company is also emphasizing its versatility in this summer’s three productions of familiar fare.

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Filed under: directors, Donizetti, review, Richard Strauss, Santa Fe Opera, Verdi

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