‘La Bohème’ still offers lyric lessons of love and loss

Reviewed by Tony Villecco

I attended Wednesday’s final dress rehearsal (Oct. 24) of Giacomo Puccini’s operatic masterpiece La Bohème, and while there were a few kinks yet to iron out, it was beautiful and musically fulfilling. Tri-Cities Opera will present two performances this weekend with an overall strong cast. No dress rehearsal is without its challenges; at times, the orchestra overshadowed the principals, especially in ensemble. The excellent chorus was ahead of the maestro during the festive second act, and lighting cues were continuing to be adjusted. Still, all this should be worked out, and even if it isn’t, the production merits enough positives to please even the most hardcore opera lover. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Savoyards launch solid ‘Pirates’ production

Reviewed by George Basler

Back in the 1940s, there was a New York Yankee baseball player, Tommy Heinrich, who was called “old reliable” because of his consistency on the ball field.

While it may be stretching the comparison, the Summer Savoyards have become one of “the old reliables” of the local theater scene over the past half century. The company, which annually stages a Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera with a cast, crew and administration of volunteers, opened its 52nd season Thursday  (July 12) and didn’t disappoint. The  mostly-youthful cast turned in a solid and enjoyable peformance of The Pirates of Penzance, which stands as one of G&S’s best-known works, along with The Mikado and HMS Pinafore. Read the rest of this entry »