NEW RELEASE: PENTATONE AMERICAN OPERA SERIES: It’s a Wonderful Life from Houston Grand Opera and Patrick Summers

Patrick Summers, Gene Scheer

Critics said the “feel good” work (Opera Warhorses) “dispels any notion that you may have about expecting the opera to duplicate the film [and has a] crazy-quilt score that may be Heggie’s most delightful concoction” (Theater Jones). As the Houston Chronicle critic summed up, “George Bailey would be proud.” ... »

Hollywood Bowl veteran McGegan teams with 20-year-old talent Simone Porter for a winning night of Vivaldi

Simone Porter

It’s as reliable as a sunrise: a Nicholas McGegan appearance at the Hollywood Bowl in August. The conductor was at his perennial Bowl gig again Thursday night, and as usual McGegan’s agenda was locked into the 18th century — all Vivaldi this time.
Most of the Los Angeles Philharmonic had the night off, leaving a small crack division of string players, plus keyboard, oboe and baroque trumpet. The stage, though, was far from bare, with three singers, one young rising star violinist and the Pacific Chorale sharing the space with the Philharmonic from time to time.
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Bryan Hymel’s Career Through His Recordings

Bryan Hymel

Quite possibly the best recording that Hymel has on the market, this production from the ROH was originally set to star Jonas Kaufmann. But Hymel had so thoroughly dominated the role at that point in time (he made a dominant debut at the Met in this very opera), that no one missed the great German tenor here. Hymel is impeccable as Enée and that aria at the end is a tour-de-force vocally from the tenor.  ... »