Author Archives: Jonathan Pell

From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell – Seattle Part II

by Jonathan Pell

Last night’s performance of Wagner’s SIEGFRIED was filled with surprises, both expected and unplanned.  The physical production is still breathtaking (scenery by Thomas Lynch, costumes by the late Martin Pakledinaz and lighting by Peter Kaczorowski), and the singing at a remarkably high level.  German tenor Stefan Vinke in his Seattle debut sang the title role […]

From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell – Seattle

by Jonathan Pell

The curtain call from last night’s DIE WALKUERE in Seattle Two down and two to go—I am halfway through the Seattle RING cycle, and so far it has been a terrific journey!  This RING is the last one produced by Seattle Opera’s long time general director Speight Jenkins (originally from Dallas, by the way) and […]

From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell

by Jonathan Pell

Tenor Sean Panikkar, “Cassio” TDO Otello 09 Karen Almond, Photo Credit I have heard that some of my loyal readers have been wondering where I have been this summer since there haven’t been any postings since the beginning of July. Well, I should report that I just returned from the Galapagos Islands, where I was auditioning […]

From the Artistic Desk of Jonathan Pell – Venice

by Jonathan Pell

  The chandelier in the auditorium of the Teatro la fenice. I have come to Venice for a few days and attended performances of MADAME BUTTERFLY with different casts on successive nights. This new production was abstract and highly stylized, with a white cyclorama that also covered the stage floor, sort of like an old […]

From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell, Florence Part II

by Jonathan Pell

The interior of the Teatro della pergola in Florence The last few days have been very rewarding—I have heard more than 100 singers from 30 countries, and attended a performance of Verdi’s original 1847 version of MACBETH (which I had never had an opportunity to hear “live”) in the very theatre in which it premiered, […]

From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell – Florence Part I

by Jonathan Pell

View of Florence from the Palazzo Pitti I am in Italy for the European NYIOP auditions, and just finished hearing the second day of preliminary auditions, where a panel of nearly twenty opera companies from around the world heard more than fifty singers from twenty-five countries.  These auditions were held in a rehearsal room at […]

From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell, St. Louis Part II

by Jonathan Pell

Photo Credit Ken Howard Last night was the opening night of New Orleans jazz trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard’s first opera CHAMPION, with a libretto by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Michael Cristofer, and based on the life of prize fighter Emile Griffith.  To borrow a sports term, it was a knockout!

From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell, St Louis Part I

by Jonathan Pell

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is celebrating their 38th season, and remains the only American opera company devoted to performing all their productions in English.  The company performs in a theatre that seats about 1,000 people so there is a tremendous sense of intimacy and immediacy which can be extraordinary. The first production I attended […]

From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell, Toronto – Part II

by Jonathan Pell

Getting up at 3:30 this morning to catch a 6:30 a.m. flight in order to get back to Dallas in time for this afternoon’s matinee at the Dallas Symphony was a challenge, but fortunately yesterday’s LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR at the Canadian Opera was a late afternoon matinee! The production was staged by David Alden and […]

From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell, Vancouver and Toronto

by Jonathan Pell

Last week I was in Vancouver for the annual conference of Opera America, the service organization for opera companies throughout North America. The event consists of several days of meetings, seminars and presentations and is held in a different city every year.  Last year we were in Philadelphia, and previous conferences were in Boston and […]