Crosses to Bear in Puccini Opera

September 21, 2016 | Opera | By Nick Hammond

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

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

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

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

Etienne Daho

October 9, 2014 | | By James Overton

Arty French CroonerHits the Road Etienne Daho deep in thought. Arty French crooner Etienne Daho has launched a new tour that will take him all over France and into neighboring countries including Switzerland, Belgium and Britain

Dialogues des Carmélites

June 3, 2014 | | By Nick Hammond

Searingly Simple Version ofUnconventional Opera Sally Matthews as Blanche de la Force. Photo: Stephen Cummiskey Anyone who wants to hear great French opera this summer might consider going to London rather than Paris to catch Robert Carsen’s wonderful production (first staged … Read More