Worldwide reviews for a worldwide audience
Best Opera Overall
Best Leading Male
Best Leading Female
Best Performance by an Orchestra
Best Set Design
Best Stage Direction
Best Performance by a Chorus
Most Dynamic Couple
The "Best Of" everything we saw and heard in the 2006-2007 opera season.
BEST PERFORMANCE OF A CHORUS: The winner is TEATRO LIRICO D’EUROPA for its production of “Madama Butterfly.”
There are moments when an opera that one has heard often comes alive in a fresh way and brings with it a renewed appreciation for the moment and beauty of what is being performed. The touring company Teatro Lirico D’Europa came to Boston on March 4, 2007 with a stunning production of Madama Butterfly that was remarkable for its performances, most notably, the show-stopping performance of soprano Olga Chernisheva in the title role of Cio-cio-san. Of the equally show-stopping performance of the chorus, I wrote, “A tip-of-the hat also must go to the chorus. In Butterfly, I always await the procession song, “Ecco, Son giunte al sommo del pendio,” which has to be one of the most beautiful procession songs in all of opera. Here it was done to perfection, with a wonderful display of color and superb vocal beauty. It gives me chills when done right, and I got that chill Sunday afternoon – still do as I write this review. It’s the romantic in me.” It was this performance throughout that earned it this year’s “Best Of” in this category.
COUPLE WITH THE MOST SIZZLE: The winner is TEATRO LIRICO D’EUROPA, for its production of “Madama Butterfly.”
Watching Olga Chernisheva in the role of Butterfly and tenor Orlin Guranov in the role of B.F. Pinkerton in Teatro’s “Madama Butterfly,” was a joy to the senses. Of their performance, I wrote: “Her romantic “Vogliatemi bene” with amazing tenor Orlin Goranov, who also sang the part of Rodolfo in Friday’s “Boheme,” is all the more reason to be amazed. This is what brings people to the opera, and if the buzz at intermission is any indication of whether the sentiments expressed herein are representative of the vast majority of the audience in attendance on Sunday, this performance would have to be rated one of the best in quite a while.”
BEST PERFORMANCE OF A LEADING MALE: The winner is, DANIEL RODRIGUEZ, in Granite State Opera’s, Cav/Pag
There was some tough competition this year, most notably from Steven Mark Brown for his performance as Don Jose, in Franite State’s “Carmen,” and from Gerard Powers for his performance as Pinkerton in Boston Lyric Opera’s, “Madama Butterfly,” but to have seen Mr. Rodriguez in “I Pag” was to witness an opera moment. Of his performance I wrote: “But hers was not the only amazing performance. I read the “hype” on tenor Daniel Rodriguez, “Here was the Singing ‘911’ Cop, and I thought, ‘yeah, yeah, we’ll see.’ After all, how good could he be? Simply, Daniel Rodriguez’ performance was electrifying, pure magic, pure energy, pure emotion and blazing in glory. It has to be his signature role. As Canio (Pagliacci) he stood in a class by himself: a star of easily recognizable magnitude and a force to be reckoned with on the opera stage. There was not a single note he delivered where the audience wasn’t held in his firm control. He inherited the character and by sheer force of delivery blew away any complacency that may have existed. I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot from and about this extraordinary talent in the future.” Enough said!
BEST PERFORMANCE OF A LEADING FEMALE: The winner is: OLGA CHERNISHEVA, in Teatro Lirico D’Europa’s production of “Madama Butterfly."
As with selecting a “Best Of” in the leading male category, selecting one among the rest in this categpory is even more difficult. We tip the hat to Wendy Bryn Harmer for her powerful performance as Vitellia in Opera Boston’s “La Clemenza di Tito,” and we sat in awe of the physical and vocal artistry of Amy Burton as she gave her soul to Jenny in another Opera Boston production, “Mahagonny.” But when Ms. Chernisheva gave us her interpretation of the youthful, innocent Butterfly, she touched our hearts in a very special way. Of her performance I wrote: “It’s amazing that Ms. Chernisheva sang the role of Mimi in Puccini’s “La Boheme” on Friday evening and was then sufficiently rested to muster the vocal strength and stamina to sing a demanding Butterfly on Sunday afternoon – but she did. And she did so with a performance that was simply spectacular. Her romantic “Vogliatemi bene” with amazing tenor Orlin Goranov, who also sang the part of Rodolfo in Friday’s “Boheme,” is all the more reason to be amazed. This is what brings people to the opera, and if the buzz at intermission is any indication of whether the sentiments expressed herein are representative of the vast majority of the audience in attendance on Sunday, this performance would have to be rated one of the best in quite a while.” And that’s the truth!
Teatro Lirico D'Europa's, "Madama Butterfly. Photo, courtesy Teatro.
Best Performance of a Chorus
Couple with Most Sizzle
Best Performance of a Leading Female.
Granite State Opera's, "I Pagliacci." Photo by Jane Sydney
Best Performance of a Leading Male
Seasonal: West Coast
BY CARIE J. DELMAR
The nominees are comprised of the 13 productions, two concerts and one recital that I reviewed on the West Coast during the 2006-07 season and summer. The nominees are: “La Traviata,” “Don Carlo,” “Die Walküre,” “Manon,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “L’Incoronazione di Poppea,” “Boris Godunov,” “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny,” “Tannhäuser,” “The Merry Widow,” “Porgy and Bess,” “Luisa Fernanda,” “Recovered Voices,” “Keepers of the Night,” Angela Gheorghiu in Concert and Deborah Voigt in Recital.
A scene from Boston College's "Pirates of Penzanse." Photo by Lee Pelligrinni. It seems the B.C. Theatre Department just keeps on producing professional quality shows that amaze for their vitality, color, direction and outstanding performances.
BEST OVERALL OPERA: The winner is LOS ANGELES OPERA’S production of “La Traviata.”
Los Angeles Opera’s “La Traviata” began the season, and in the first paragraph of my first review of the season, I wrote: “Every element of the opening night performance . . . was stupendous.” Opening night was a magical evening that began with the audience standing and singing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ and ended with the audience standing and shouting bravos.”
BEST PERFORMANCE OF AN ORCHESTRA: The winner is, JAMES CONLON, conducting, in Los Angeles Opera’s production of “Don Carlo” and “Tannhauser.”
I suppose the award should really go to Giuseppe Verdi, because without the haunting score of “Don Carlo,” James Conlon couldn’t possibly have conducted with such buoyancy, and the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra couldn’t have produced such opulent sound. I wrote in my review: “James Conlon’s exuberance in the pit . . . energized the musicians and singers on the stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion who gave it their all. They were clearly watching his every move, and he was clearly in control.” But I have to admit that the same orchestra with the same conductor produced equally beautiful sound later in the season with Richard Wagner’s score of “Tannhäuser.” I concluded that review with: “The real star of the evening was Wagner’s music, which was played by a first-rate orchestra and led by a conductor with an affinity for the score. The music grabbed us at the beginning of the overture, during the bacchanal, and it didn’t let go until the final note. But I still wanted to hear more.”
Los Angeles Opera's, "La Traviata."
Photo by Robert Millard
Best Opera Overall
Best Performance of
If you would like to list
your web page with this site, see our front opage link and then contact us, contact us: