Articles by Philip Hodge
I have lived on the peninsula for 21 years, and have subscribed to Pocket Opera for all of that time. Many of the performers keep coming back, and I always delight when I look at the program and see more and more names that I recognize and remember
Conductor David Rohrbaugh's handling of the extended quiet musical passage at the end of Act I was exquisite; the audience paid him the ultimate tribute: they held their applause until the last quiet note had been played and he had lowered his arms
I am amazed all over again at the overall excellence of this small company. Every ingredient outstanding, and they all combine and are so compatible with each other that the whole is even greater than the sum of its parts
Rossini’s The Barber of Seville has music so basic, characters so stock, and plot so simple that a director can put almost anything on stage without creating any blatant inconsistencies.
Do you wonder that I rave about WBOpera’s casts? When sopranos of this quality were only understudies during the regular season!
The two children are lost, it’s getting dark, and there are mysterious noises in the woods
What does the Opera Nut do on November 1, 2013, when faced with a two-week vacation after seeing 6 operas (and reviewing 4 of them) in October?
Be careful what you wish for - you may get it
When you start with a plot by Shakespeare, music by Verdi, libretto by Boito, an orchestra conducted by Nicola Luisotti, and title role sung by Bryn Terfel, it is not surprising that the result is a wonderful evening of entertainment
Tosca’s poignant Vissi d’arte, Mario’s lovely O dolce mani, and Scarpia’s doom-threatening motif are competing for attention in my head
Anna Netrebko is in a class by herself; every muscle of her face and body, every note of her voice tell you exactly what she is thinking and feeling; it almost seems indecent to expose a teen-age girl’s innermost being to a world-wide audience
The role of Dolores Claiborne was played by Patricia Racette, but you can’t fool me; The woman who walked into her dressing room may well have been Patricia Racette, but the woman who walked on stage Sunday afternoon was Dolores Claiborne
I won’t go far as Faust: “If I would haply say to the moment flying, ‘Stay thee, for thou art blissful’ Ah! let me die then, And let hell there engulf me!” but the 4 hours in the War memorial Theatre with Boito's Mefistofeles were indeed Blissful
I walk into the War Memorial Opera House, I show my ticket, the usher hands me a program, I glance at the cover, and WOW!
To the world, Falstaff is elderly, obese, ridiculous – an object of scorn – a butt for amusement; he is totally oblivious of all of this and regards himself a handsome, dashing nobleman in the prime of life – completely irresistible to all women
No other operetta can match the procession of haughty peers as they first march on to the spirited "Bow, bow, ye lower middle classes! Bow, bow, ye tradesmen, bow, ye masses! Blow the trumpets, bang the brasses!
Tantantara! Tzing! Boom!"
One of the most beautiful and moving musical performances I have ever seen. - - I had to write a review; it was the only outlet for all of the awe and wonder in me as I left the theater
I doubt that any other performance anywhere has produced wives merrier than Marcelle Dronkers and Meghan Dibble as Mistresses Ford and Page, respectively
Tell them what we did.
Tell them what we tried for.
Tell them what we gave.
Tell them that we laughed.
Tell them we were foolish.
Tell them we were brave
As an actress, there’s no question – Susannah Biller’s Despina stole the show
"We have created a space that comes from the imagination of the poet. A world both real and dreamlike, and a device that moves us from one story to another" - Laurent Pelly, Director
How do you begin to write a review when you want to rave about all aspects of the production? I can’t think of anything better than the fundamental instructions for writing an essay: start at the beginning – continue until the end – stop
Puccini and Schonberg have very different ideas about music!
Cleopatra's costume ranged from towel and soapsuds to formal gay-nineties ball gown to a “little black dress”; - - - as Orlando rides forth the banner streaming behind him reads "Make War not Love."
Jacques Offenbach cast his irreverent eye and ear on Gluck’s opera and the original myth and mused, “Hmm. I wonder what the real story was like?”
To most of Florence Gianni Schicchi appears to he hard-hearted and selfish, but to his daughter he’s a pussycat
The baby boy was snatched from her immediately upon birth and Angelica was sent immediately to a convent to spend the rest of her life in repentance, never to be spoken of or communicated with again
A man falls in love with the first unmarried woman he sees – and that might not be the same woman he was courting a mere 12 hours before; it is not surprising that in Act II All Hell breaks loose
Donald Pippin goes on to admit that Don Giovanni can be utterly charming, and concludes with an explicit warning to the women in the audience that they stay here at their own peril
When Lucia (Rochelle Bard) came on for her curtain call, the applause level doubled and nearly everyone was standing