A rarely performed trio of one act operas, Puccini’s Il Trittico gets a great performance by the Royal Opera House forces directed by Antonio Pappano. Strong casting for each opera is upheld for the most part by director Richard Jones concepts.
This SyFy mini-series of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel fails to truly convey any of its adventure and danger, despite a strong, A-list cast.
Falstaff, Verdi’s final masterpiece, receives a strong production from the Zurich Opera. A quicksilver vocal cast, led by a natural fat knight, Ambrogio Maestri, makes Shakespeare’s Windsor Forest, a comic neighborhood worth visiting.
Highlighted by a great performance from Willem Dafoe, The Hunter is a well-made action/drama that fans of Dafoe will eat up.
New Year’s Day concerts are generally major music events in Europe. La Fenice, a gorgeously restored music venue is the star of this 2012 performance, as the orchestra, singers and conductors are generally below the mark in a program mixing Tchaikovsky with staples of Italian opera.
EuroArts delivers an historically significant performance featuring the return of legendary conductor Sergiu Celibidache to his former orchestra. What follows is a mesmerizing Bruckner Symphony No. 7, limited only by 20-year old video and sound quality.
The Bayreuth Festival has brought us many memorable Wagnerian opera performances. This well-cast 2010 Lohengrin will not be on that list largely due to a bizarre staging concept that overruns the legend of the Swan Knight with rats.
An updated production from the Bayerische Staatsoper, this Idomeneo triumphs with excellent singing and music direction under Kent Nagano.
Jennifer Westfeldt’s Friend’s with Kids is a romantic comedy aimed squarely at adults, and while it is handled intelligently with witty and unexpected dialogue, its uneven tone keeps it from being a complete success.
With fine V/A, as well as an excellent performance from Kelsey Grammer, Starz’ Boss: Season One comes Well Recommended.