16. February 2011 · Comments Off on Opera Critic Review & More · Categories: Opera, Reviews

Note: this was actually posted earlier but moved up here since I’ve added the latest review at the bottom.

From Michael Vaughn. “Bryan Nies and the orchestra gave a lackluster reading of the overture, though they certainly made up for it later.”

So there is that one plus these (each with a quote about the orchestra, since I’m self-centered that way):

Examiner by Beeri Moalem (link): “While the onstage orchestra mimicked their counterparts below stage with darling attempts at fingering and all, it was the instrumentalists in the pit that sparked the fire of opening-night excitement. The overture conjured a parade of characters marching in order: the proud, the pompous, the dire, the mischievous, the silly… ”

Opera Novice by Cynthia Corral in San Jose Metblogs (link): “The excitement began for my guest and me as soon as the familiar overture music started. All of the music from this opera is peppy, upbeat and, most important to a beginner, familiar. We couldn’t help bouncing around in our chairs to the music during the introduction, half expecting Bugs himself to appear when the curtain went up. We were dancing around through the entire opera, except for the moments when we were laughing too hard.”

Mercury News by Richard Scheinin (link): “The orchestra, conducted by Bryan Nies, was sometimes too loud, covering the singers, but mostly light-footed and steady, pulsing out the drama for 2½ hours.”

San Francisco Classical Voice by Georgia Rowe really hated opening night (link): “The evening started well, with a taut, springy performance of the overture, and the conductor elicited shapely orchestral playing in several subsequent scenes (the Act 2 storm sounded aptly turbulent). Mostly, though, he struggled to maintain coordination between stage and pit. Whenever the singers faltered in Rossini’s ornate vocal passagework, the conductor either hesitated or sped up to keep the action moving; either way, he never achieved a cohesive flow.”

Out & About Magazine by Paul Myrvold (link): “From the first note of one of the most rousing overtures I have heard (vigorously conducted under the confident baton of Bryan Nies) to the last slap of pounding palms from a standing, cheering audience, Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville at Opera San Jose is a complete triumph.”

All of these are from the same night.

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