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Opera San Antonio Reviews

Old warhorse finds fountain of youth

Puccini's La Bohème

Dress rehearsal photo by Karen Almond.

Though it had its premiere in 1896 and the story’s setting is 19th-century Paris, Puccini’s La Bohèmeremains strikingly apposite today in any big city with a concentration of struggling young artists and intellectuals and a vast gap between rich and the poor. That thematic relevance, together with a nonstop gusher of gorgeous music and a tear-jerker ending, have assured La Bohème a consistent place among the four or five operas most often produced, both worldwide and in North America. 

Yes, it’s overexposed, but Opera San Antonio’s production worked so well on so many levels on opening night, May 17, that this warhorse seemed fresh and new. The show repeats May 19 at 7:30 pm in the Tobin Center. 

Review: Youthful cast energizes ‘La Bohème’

Puccini's La Bohème

Giacomo Puccini’s “La Bohème” is an opera about the young and aimed at the young of heart.

Which was what was so refreshing Thursday night in Opera San Antonio’s production of the Puccini masterpiece. Its cast was young, talented and ambitious, just like their characters. Backed by the luminous, expressive music from the San Antonio Symphony in the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts’ pit, this “La Bohème” presented an emotionally stirring experience for the audience of more than 1,100 people.

One of the most performed operas ever, “La Bohème” often has employed aging opera superstars in their prime, such as Luciano Pavarotti. But by casting younger singers in the lead roles who can look forward to their own prime, this production unfolded the dramatic intentions of Puccini with naturalness and honesty.

Macbeth en San Antonio

Verdi's Macbeth

Sobresaliente fue el resultado del reto que asumió la Ópera de San Antonio al elegir escenificar Macbeth de Verdi. En apenas cuatro temporadas, la compañía ha ofrecido a su público un repertorio interesante y variado, que no se basa sólo en los títulos tradicionales, y como testimonio de ello puedo señalar la memorable doble cartelera de La voix humaine e Il segreto di Susanna, con la soprano italiana Anna Caterina Antonacci como protagonista, que muy pocos teatros en la actualidad se atreverían a ofrecer.

This Cauldron Bubbles Nicely

Verdi's Macbeth

When the curtain came down on 

Opera San Antonio’s memorably 

strong production of Giuseppe Verdi’s 

Macbeth on Sept. 8, the Tobin Center 

audience might well have wondered 

why this taut Shakespearean drama 

isn’t staged more often. 

Opera company reaches new heights with Macbeth

Verdi's Macbeth

credit: Karen Almond

OPERA San Antonio took a giant step Friday night with the first staging of its fourth season.

The company spread its wings by staging a Shakespearean opera by Giuseppe Verdi, taking a chance on “Macbeth,” one that many people haven’t seen despite its vivid theatrics. The company also presented its biggest chorus yet, 32 wonderful singers.

No need to split hairs - this Barber satisfies

The Barber of Seville

Credit: Marty Sohl

Opera is sorta like baseball. A 

home-run slugger or two can give the 

fans some transitory thrills, but the 

team needs strength in every other 

position, all the way down to the 

short-relief pitchers and the batboys, 

to make it to the World Series. 

Joyous love wins in “The Barber of Seville”

The Barber of Seville

It may have been Election Day on Saturday, but the comic pursuit of love dominated in Opera San Antonio’s “The Barber of Seville” at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.

The opera company staged a union of virtuosic singing with physical comedy for the ever-popular masterpiece by Biachino Rossini before an audience of more than 1,100 people Saturday night.

Stage director E. Loren Meeker prepared a highly entertaining interpretation of “Barber” with a cast that left nothing more to be desired.

All four top singers quickly established themselves with their opening arias that set into motion the story of “somersaulting hearts.”

New “Magic Flute” inspired by 1791 version

The Land of the Magic Flute

Somewhere between the sun and the moon, imagination sparked the creation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” in the 1700s.

In the 21st century, a new imagination formed “The Land of the Magic Flute,” a work of art that recreates itself every time it is performed — and the production Tuesday night at Trinity University’s Ruth Taylor Recital Hallfor an audience of nearly 300 people was like no other before it.


"Carmen" comes fresh and correct to the Alamo City


A truly talented cast and crew are bringing Carmen to the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 27 and 29, 2016.

The story isn’t new on how Carmen came into being: Georges Bizet predominately worked in the genres of opera, wrote orchestral music, and songs for piano. Bizet was from that hip, intellectual area of Paris known as Montmartre; and he attended the Paris Conservatoire (a place of grooming for talented performers and composers); won the Rome Prize and lived on the government's dime from 1857-1860; and later had some success with one of his earlier minor operas, The Pretty Maid of Perth (1867).

Carmen cast wins out for OPERA San Antonio


The enduring popularity of Georges Bizet’s opera “Carmen” flows from the uncommon unity of its fabulous melodies with the story’s magnetic characters and their emotions.

Opera San Antonio’s “Carmen” production, the first of its 2016-17 season, magnified that unity in its Thursday night performance in all the ways that counted.

The main strengths of the staging were the exceptionally strong core singing cast that combined with splendid orchestral support from the San Antonio Symphony in the pit, all performing in the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts before nearly 1,400 patrons.

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