A Critical Overview of the "Dangerous Desires" Season

by tdoadmin

The one thing you have to tell yourself (sometimes, over and over) is that everyone is entitled to their own opinion—especially a critic.  However, on the whole the critics had plenty of good things to say about the company itself and the Dallas Opera’s “Dangerous Desires” Season, particularly towards the close of the season.  Here are some of the 2010-2011 highlights you might have missed:

“The last time the Dallas Opera mounted Don Giovanni, it was a dour, stiff affair without any sparks; this version reinvents the show for them, and makes an excellent kick-off to the new season.” --  Arnold Jones, The Voice

“Amid it all, most of the cast rises to a high musical standard. All three sopranos are excellent: Claire Rutter as Donna Anna negotiates her treacherous coloratura lines with power and ease; Georgia Jarman as Donna Elvira combines passion with pathos; and Ailyn Perez as Zerlina caresses her vocal lines with as creamy a lyric soprano as one could hope to hear.” -- Mike Silverman, Associated Press

“In the final scene (Ann Boleyn) becomes delirious prior to her execution. Her moods and visions shift quickly. This section is so vocally demanding that one wonders if it is humanly possible to maintain control and hit the notes. She proves it is possible to stay in voice throughout this exquisite vocal marathon.” -- Marilee Vergati, Dallas Dance Examiner

“Maybe it’s the glorious new venue. Maybe it’s the chemistry between the singers. Maybe it’s the debut of Dallas’ own Laura Claycomb. Whatever it is, the Dallas Opera needs to bottle it – because it works.” -- Terry Mathews, Sulphur Springs News-Telegram

“Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet is a pretty good take on Shakespeare’s most popular love story.  With a strong performance such as that of the Dallas Opera Sunday afternoon, it seems better than just pretty good.” -- Olin Chism, KERA’s “Art and Seek” blog

“So much depends on the soaring voice of innocence in this opera – and Claycomb’s resonant soprano reaches even the highest notes — and lingers with ease and conviction.  On opening night, she received spontaneous applause for her lovely voice and dramatic presence.  Gavanelli’s eloquent baritone wraps around each word and phrase of the score. I can hear the words so clearly I almost think I can speak Italian.  His loving duets with Gilda are beautifully articulated, and so achingly sad I nearly cried.” -- Martha Heimberg, AOL City Sunday

“Raymond Aceto plays the killer for hire Sparafucile. Though it isn’t as prominent a role, the impact he has on stage cannot be measured. He is truly terrifying especially in the scenes he shares with his sister. Kirstin Chavez as Maddalena, Sparafucile’s sister, gives a riveting performance that resonates even though she is only in the third act. Within the space of a few minutes she causes revulsion in the audience with the sub-textual implication that she might be having an incestuous affair with her brother, yet we have to believe she too falls for The Duke, and somehow as an audience member we must also connect with her. The depravity in the household is horrifying, and the two of them raise the level of anxiety in the audience so that I found myself squirming in my seat.” -- Mark-Brian Sonna, Pegasus News

“Hair-raising singing, orchestral playing that’s elegantly and excitingly tuned to the drama, splendid pageantry: the Dallas Opera’s Boris Godunov that opened Friday night at the Winspear Opera House would be a triumph for any opera house, anywhere.” -- Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News

“World Treasure: A Stunning Dallas Opera Revival of Tarkovsky’s Classic, Insightful Boris Godunov” (headline from Opera Warhorses, April 1, 2011)

“Dallas Opera was successful in bringing world-class talent to every character in both productions. But the Boris of Mikhail Kazakov, stately and haunted, and the misshapen dwarfish jester Paolo Gavanelli creates as Rigoletto are extraordinary. It is doubtful that you will experience their equal no matter how many subsequent productions you may attend.” -- Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones

“From every angle, the Dallas Opera is making a confident bid to join San Francisco, Chicago and Houston among the country’s top-league opera companies.  Included in that strategy is courting the national press to witness (and report back home) on the remarkable growth in Dallas.” -- Pierre Ruhe, ArtsCriticATL.com

One Response to A Critical Overview of the "Dangerous Desires" Season

t3brtact says: April 29, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Larry Kelly and Maestro Rescigno would never have let James Valenti perform in such sad vocal shape. It was a disservice to him, the production and the audience. He’s booked for next season?!! That alone will keep me from buying tickets.