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.
The winner is, MASSIMO GIORDANO, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s, “Romeo et Juliette.”
Among the men this season at Lyric Opera of Chicago, the most memorable performance came from Massimo Giordano as Romeo in “Romeo et Juliette.” With a warm voice reminiscent of the young Domingo, Mr. Giordano’s star shone brightly all night. Of that performance, I wrote: “Making his Lyric debut, Italian lyric tenor Massimo Giordano brought down the house with his performance of the love-struck Romeo. With a warm voice reminiscent of the young Domingo, Mr. Giordano’s star shone brightly all night, especially with his performance of “Ah! leve-toi, soleil.” Mr. Giordano certainly deserved the standing ovation he received.”
BEST PERFORMANCE OF A CHORUS: The winner here is LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO in the production of “Turandot.”
In an opera that relies so heavily on the Chorus, they proved why they are some of the best choristers in the United States. Of its performance here, I wrote: “The Lyric Opera Chorus seems to always turn in flawless performances, and their work in this production of "Turandot" was no exception. The first act "Moon Chorus" may never have sounded better, and their reprise of "Nessun dorma" was a thrilling end to the night.”
BEST USE OF LIGHTING: The winner is, CHRISTINE BIND, in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s “Dialogues . . .”
While I am not normally a fan of “minimalist” productions, Ms. Binder’s lighting was able to evoke the turmoil of the French Revolution and conflicts faced by these noble nuns. Robert Carsen deserves a special mention here, since he created the original production, and what a stunning production it was!
BEST PERFORMANCE OF AN ORCHEHTRA: The winner is LYRIC OPERA CHICAGO, Sir Arthur Davis, conducting “Salome.”
Richard Strauss places enormous demands on his orchestra in Salome, and the Lyric’s orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis’ competent baton navigated this treacherous score like it was and old friend.
BEST SET DESIGN: The winner is: CHARLES EDWARDS for Lyric Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore.”
Drawing inspiration from Francisco de Goya, Mr. Edwards’ imposing set captured the spirit of Verdi’s opera and skillfully depicted a society at war with itself
BEST STAGE DIRECTION: The winner is FRANCESCA ZAMBELLO, in Lyric Opera’s, “Salome.”
Ms. Zambello brought out finely nuanced performances from her company as she explored the opera’s dark sexual subtext.
Lyric Opera of Chicago's, "Romeo et Juliette. Photo by Dan Rest.
Best Performance of a Leading Male
Lyric Opera of Chicago's "Salome." Photo by Robert Kusel.
Best Performance of a Leading Female
Lyric Opera of Chicago's, "Turandot." Photo by Robert Kusel.
Best Performnce of a Chorus
Best Summer Opera
BEST SUMMER OPERA: The winner, this year, for the best all-around summer opera produciton (that we saw) is OPERA NORTH.
Last year Cape Cod Opera was the big winner for its production of "The Mikado." This year Opera North had it so all together in its production of Puccini's "Turandot," that it swept all categories that we measure productions by: Best Conductor, Louis Burkot; Best Director, Ron Luchsinger; Best Set Designer, Yoshinori Tanokura; Best Costume Designer, Patricia Hibbert; Best Lighting Designer, David Gelhar. Best Performance of a Leading Man, Michael Hayes (Calaf); Best performance of a Leading Female, Claudia Waite (Turandot).
This is how I viewed it: "Saturday evening, August 11th, at the Lebanon Opera House in western New Hampshire just a few miles from the Vermont border, Opera North celebrated its 25th Anniversary by bringing this shamelessly romantic masterpiece to the stage in a production that was glorious in every way one measures a successful opera production. Here’s a piece of advice: if you haven’t been to an opera in a while and think it may have lost its glow, or if you are wondering what the fuss is all about, this production may be just the thing you’ll want to see, to either refresh your memory and/or serve as a thrilling introduction, as the case may be."
Opera North's, "Turandot." Photo by Michael Chadwick.
Best Summer Opera
From The Mid-West
BY R. TODD SHUMAN
BEST OPERA: The winner is LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO for its productions of “Salome” and “Dialogues of the Carmelites.”
Both of these productions had that essential blend of exquisite singing, clear and thoughtful direction and set and lighting designers with a vision. When I look back over the 2006-2007 season, these are the productions that I wish I could see again and again.
BEST PERFORMANCE OF A LEADING FEMALE: The winner is: DEBORAH VOIGT, Lyric Opera of Chicago, “Salome.”
After wowing Lyric audiences with her Ariadne and her Sieglinde, she stunned us in her role debut as “Salome.” Of her performance, I wrote: “She gave a note perfect, stellar performance of this notoriously difficult role, and brought a combination of innocence and intensity to the role. Not only was her scene with Alan Held's Jochanaan riveting, but she navigated her way through the treacherously challenging 20 minute Final Scene with surprising ease and tremendous intensity.”
This award to Ms. Voigt is to take nothing away from the stellar performances of Patricia Racette who brought such strength to her performance of Madame Lidoine that I wanted to follow her to the scaffold. Finally, in her Lyric Opera debut, I want to mention Nuccia Focile, who nearly stole the show in her perofmance of Despina in Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte.”
Lyric Opera of Chicago's "Dialogues des Carmalites." Photo by Han Van den Bogaard. Netherlands Opera.
BEST PERFORMANCE OF A LEADING MALE
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