Articles tagged with: Francesco Milioto
Review: Many opera enthusiasts, many friends of Chicago Opera Theater, must have emerged from the company’s recent double bill of Donizetti one-acters, early and late, at the Studebaker Theatre thinking what I was thinking: Who knew? Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848), a prodigious composer of bel canto operas, is remembered today essentially for a handful of works: “Lucia di Lammermoor,” “La favorita,” “The Daughter of the Regiment,” and “Don Pasquale.”But who ever heard of his late one-act comedy “Rita,” written two years before “Don Pasquale,” or his student melodrama “Il Pigmalione,” the work of an obviously gifted lad of 19?
Review: When Swiss-born Ernest Bloch began to contemplate the creation of his first and only opera, “Macbeth,” he was an untested 25 and would turn 30 before his opus found footing at the Opéra-Comique in Paris. The opera then slipped into oblivion. What is surprising is how staggeringly good Bloch’s result is — for an opera that almost no one knows. ★★★
Review: When opera is really working as theater, you tend to forget you’re listening to sung speech as you lose yourself in drama’s thrall. That’s precisely the effect in Chicago Opera Theatre’s potent evening of one-act rarities: Viktor Ullmann’s darkly surreal “The Emperor of Atlantis” and Carl Orff’s wry parable “The Clever One.” ★★★★
Review: Does the middling label “lesser,” in the habitually repeated rankings of Verdi operas, give presenters a green light to “fix” things that may not be broken? Stage director David Schweizer fell into that trap with the Chicago Opera Theater production of “Giovanna d’Arco.” From a musical standpoint, Verdi’s Joan of Arc opera was a stunning achievement by the 31-year-old composer. COT conductor Francesco Milioto got that. Schweizer, not so much. ★★
Preview: Chicago Opera Theater jumps into the Verdi bicentennial observance this weekend with its season opener, a relatively rare staging of the composer’s early “Giovanna d’Arco.” The stage has not generously embraced this odd riff on Joan of Arc’s life – and death. “It’s one of history’s most extraordinary, mind-bending true stories,” says stage director David Schweizer, “and the audience knows that. But the work is filled with rapturous music.”