Don Carlo Staged at the Kennedy Center

Tenor Russell Thomas Don Carlo in WNOs Don Carlo credit Scott Suchman 2WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kennedy Center audiences currently have an opportunity to see "Don Carlo," an opera of Giuseppe Verdi, based on a play by Friedrich Schiller. This opera by Verdi is not often performed, and plays by Schiller - one of the great dramatists of the world theatre - are performed even less in the United States. Thus, this is a unique opportunity, an opportunity to which the Washington National Opera’s performance only does partial justice. That partial justice is the quality of the singing; the injustice is the quality of the staging, though, in one scene, the avant-garde staging brings about a keen awareness of an ethical problem in the work.    


Heather Raffo’s 'Noura' highlights refugee identity struggles

NOURA 0022 1WASHINGTON, D.C. – Heather Raffo’s “Noura” is on stage through March 11 at the Shakespeare Theatre in D.C., and is a take on Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” through the eyes of a family of three Christian Iraqi refugees.


An entertaining and accessible Merry Widow

MerryWidow4ROCKVILLE – “Girls! Girls! Girls!” We refer not to the title of the Elvis Presley movie, but quote an exclamation from the singing septet in the Victorian Lyric Opera Company’s highly accessible production of Franz Lehar’s century-old operetta The Merry Widow. The “merry widow” of the title is Hanna Glawari, a native of the impoverished, postage stamp-sized (and fictional) country of Pontevedra. Her elderly husband died and left her a fortune. Now she is about to marry a Frenchman, and this marriage is opposed by her countrymen: she is the only wealthy person in the country, and they fear the loss of her taxable assets. The lover of her youth, one Danilo, is now a diplomat in Pontevedra's embassy in Paris. Danilo is instructed to court Hanna with the intention of engagement and marriage in order to save his country from bankruptcy. Although he is still sincerely in love with her, she assumes he has only resumed his courtship because she is the very rich “merry widow.” It is a comic tale in which the pursuit of true love is juxtaposed with a love of convenience – and connivance.