AIDA – Still Making Waves

by Suzanne Calvin

…in all the right directions. Latonia Moore’s performance in the title role has been universally acclaimed as “one for the ages.” But the strength of the other key principal roles has been noticed as well, as in Arts Editor Terry Mathews assessment of Antonello Palombi’s Radames:

” From the moment he began Celeste Aïda, Palombi poured himself into the role of the conflicted warrior, at once loyal to his king and country, but totally committed in his love for the exotic Aïda.  Palombi’s aria carried such a depth of soulful sweetness that it almost erases the memories of performances by Luciano Pavarotti or Placido Domingo in the role. The final note cracked my heart wide open with its beauty.  I thought, well, it’s downhill from here.

“Man, was I wrong. ”

Wrong in the best sort of way, I’m sure. Read the entire review here.

(Photo by Karen Almond, Dallas Opera)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

Fashionista Heaven and Moore!

by Suzanne Calvin

More favorable reactions to the overall experience of FIRST NIGHT 2012. This, from Sherri Tilley at “The Flash List” who savored it all and wrote of soprano Latonia Moore: “Her solo ‘Return a conqueror’ in Act I had the audience mesmerized, absolutely captivated by her uniquely beautiful voice.  Like a praiseworthy evangelist, Latonia Moore will surely convert a new generation of opera lovers to the classic art form.”

Get Sherri’s extensive report right here.

(Red Carpet photo of Aida’s Entourage: Alexandra Hicks, Rhonda Marcus, Jennifer Roberts, and Allie-Coosh owner/designer Paulette Martsolf by The Flash List)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

Second Wave for AIDA

by Suzanne Calvin


The reviews continue to roll in for the Dallas Opera’s Season Opener: AIDA, featuring an incredible ensemble cast and starring soprano Latonia Moore in the title role. Olin Chism reviewed for the “Star-Telegram” and found much to praise about the singing and more: “This was one Aida that was firing on all cylinders. Conductor Graeme Jenkins deserves great credit for a superb orchestral performance and a magnificent choral one — Alexander Rom is the chorus’s maestro. I also liked Kenneth von Heidecke’s graceful choreography.” Read Olin’s review of Sunday’s performance right here.

We also heard from Katie Womack at “The Observer,” who found the performance she attended lacking in passion, rather than singing talent or spectacle. Get her view of the production here.

Then there was Scott Cantrell’s perspective. “The Dallas Morning News” Classical Music Critic was especially taken with the vocal performance of Nadia Krasteva in her Dallas Opera debut as Amneris, he found her voice “splendidly appointed and finished, stirring in every range and volume.”  The rest of the opera? Mmmmm, not so much.  More of Scott’s review of Opening Night can be found here.

More to come…

(Nadia Krasteva in her Dallas Opera debut as Amneris.  Photo by Karen Almond, Dallas Opera)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

AIDA – The First Wave

by Suzanne Calvin

The first reviews are out, regarding the Dallas Opera’s spectacular season opener: Verdi’s AIDA with soprano Latonia Moore in the title role.

Wayne Lee Gay of D Magazine’s “FrontRow” blog wrote that Miss Moore “simply astounded with a voice that was equally powerful--and clearly capable of subtle effect--from top to bottom.” Read more of Wayne’s glowing review right here.

Over at “Theater Jones,” critic Gregory Sullivan Isaacs called Moore’s performance Friday evening “transcendent. All of the red carpet folderol that accompanies the opening of the opera season pales with the memory of her performance. Read Gregory’s review right here.

And at “Everyday Opera,” critic David Weuste wrote “Aida is full of fantastic music; from soaring arias, to raucous, dramatic choruses, it’s got a bit of everything, and the Dallas audience was treated to some absolutely fantastic performances. We can’t begin without starting with the orchestra. Verdi uses the orchestra in so many ways, it’s can be overwhelming. The Dallas Opera musicians performed swimmingly whether they were playing sweeping preludes, grandiose fanfares, ballet music, or isolated solos like oboist Rogene Russell (the oboe is as much of a soloist and star as any of the singers in this opera) — and they were on top of it all.”  Read David’s review here…and there will be more to come, of course.

Got your tickets yet?

(Photo courtesy of Karen Almond, Dallas Opera)

TDO’s Ticket Office Muse

by Suzanne Calvin

It never ceases to amaze me, the amount of creative talent that permeates the Dallas Opera’s administrative offices. We have singers, dancers, musicians, dramatists, visual artists and more; nearly everyone here has their very full-time day job, and something else besides. A case in point: Patron Services Coordinator Paul Semrad who, without saying a word (and it’s too bad because he’s a quick-witted guy) plays a pivotal role in Undermain Theatre’s acclaimed new production, AN ILIAD, based on Homer’s epic story of the fall of Troy. Get more details about this work, smartly directed by Katherine Owens and brilliantly acted by Bruce DuBose, from “Art&Seek’s” Jerome Weeks.

(Photo of Paul Semrad and Bruce DuBose, left to right, courtesy of KERA’s Art&Seek)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

Professional Chameleons

by Suzanne Calvin

I’m trying to make the mental leap from Papageno to Henry Kissinger and finding it downright difficult. However, it appears that baritone Patrick Carfizzi (our scene-stealing Papageno in “The Magic Flute”) has now inhabited the character of the former Secretary of State for San Francisco Opera’s new production of John Adams’ “Nixon in China” and earning critical plaudits. Here’s the “Wall Street Journal” review by David Littlejohn, which also covers SFO’s “The Magic Flute” (with Kristinn Sigmundsson -- who made an incredible impression as King Marke in our “Tristan” singing the role of Sarastro) and Verdi’s “Attila.”

(Photo by Corey Weaver, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

B-I-G, Big Berlioz

by Suzanne Calvin

For the first time in forty years, Berlioz’ grand five-and-a-half hour masterpiece, LES TROYENS, is trodding the boards in a complete staging at London’s Royal Opera House.  Critic Andrew Clements at “The Guardian” gave the new David McVicar production four out of five stars in this review.  Perhaps he knocked off a star for the questionable use of a flying saucer…perhaps not.  Details on that in this Associated Press article in the “Washington Post.”

Question: How much is too much?  Would you welcome a five-and-a-half-hour world-class production at the Winspear Opera House -- or would you rather wait for the DVD, with or without extraterrestrial beings, to be enjoyed at leisure in your den?  Just curious… 

(Photo courtesy of Associated Press)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

Out There

by Suzanne Calvin


(Photo by Ken Howard for Opera Theater of St. Louis)


“Dallas Morning News” Classical Music Critic Scott Cantrell is checking out this year’s offerings during the summer season in St. Louis and has flipped for “Alice in Wonderland” writing, “South Korean composer Unsuk Chin’s five-year-old Alice in Wonderland might be the most ‘out there’ work I’ve seen in 22 years of coming here. Of course, Lewis Carroll’s fantastic tales of strange creatures in strange places, of its eponym expanding and contracting like a telescope, anticipated theater of the absurd by a good century.” Catch more of his review here.

Also, Scott’s review of “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson”…er…I mean “Sweeney Todd” as well as his take on the classic opera offerings this season.

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

In Kepler’s Orbit

by Suzanne Calvin

One of the intersesting aspects of this summer’s Spoleto Festival USA in South Carolina is a new production of Philip Glass’s “Kepler” about the famed German mathematician and astronomer who discovered the laws of planetary motion that now bear his name. Heidi Waleson of “The Wall Street Journal” writes:

“Mr. Glass’s signature repetitive musical style deftly transforms itself to express these contradictions: There are aggressive, pounding assaults, full of brass and percussion; meditative reveries; and rich, ecstatic paeans that accompany both scientific breakthroughs and quasireligious contemplations of the natural world. Conductor John Kennedy built the dramatic shape of the score with assurance; John Hancock brought a resonant baritone and imposing presence to Kepler. Standouts among the scholar soloists were soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird, who negotiated the high tessitura fearlessly, and Matt Boehler, whose opulent bass brought particular humanity to Kepler’s inner doubts. The fine Westminster Choir became a character itself.

“Like Kaye Voyce’s somber school uniforms and academic robes, Andrew Lieberman’s simple, handsome set implied the severity and loneliness of the life of the mind. There was a long library table with chairs, and rows of benches for the students. Upstage, an enormous screen, suggesting the vastness of the universe, dwarfed the people and served as a canvas for lighting designer Aaron Black’s play of colors. It could be bleak and empty, or suffused with saturated purples and reds; an eclipse became the ultimate ecstatic moment. On the stage, the brilliant, otherworldly glare of revelation contrasted with the warm, realistic library light in which the scholars bent over their notebooks and struggled with theories.”

You can access the rest of her review here.

(Image by Celestia/Chris Laurel)

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR