viennaoperareview.com is a review of live opera currently performed at Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper) and Vienna Volksoper by Philautus, an English critic resident in Vienna. The review has been running for nearly six years, with more than 100 reviews of operas and operettas published so far.
The aim is to stimulate enjoyment of opera, demystifying an often rarefied and snobbish medium: to make opera accessible to a wider audience, and to provoke debate. I’m passionate about opera, and want to communicate that excitement: but sometimes you have to object to bad ‘radical’ productions, where the producer’s ‘concept’ hinders understanding of the opera.
Remember cast and conductor are frequently changed within a season. Only the sets remain constant for a given production. And as with all live performance, there is no definitive review. The chemistry between cast, conductor, and orchestra is never constant; and the performance is itself subject to different audiences’ appreciation. A so-called critic can only give a subjective view; a snapshot of one particular performance.
I would welcome your comments, or criticism. Especially, please, from those of you who have actually seen any of the productions reviewed. Also, your posts, or reviews- short or long- of operas performed this season I’ve not posted on.
Please post in Comment: or email at hq@viennaoperareview
I was deeply shocked to hear of the death of Dmitri Hvorostovsky. All opera lovers, especially those who have heard and seen his stage performances, will suffer an inconsolable loss.
Over the last six years, since starting this blog, I’ve been privileged to see Hvorostovsky in some of his greatest performances: his classic Eugene Onegin, Simon Boccanegra, and especially.
Great music may be immortal , but sadly not its practitioners.
Yours, Philautus (Peter R.)
You might wish to read these reviews still online: