Reviews

LA Opera: Puccini’s “Tosca”

April 22 - May 13, 2017

Conlon… has conducted “Tosca” more often than any other opera — this was his 69th performance by his count — yet this was his first “Tosca” in Los Angeles in his 11 seasons as music director. He brought a sweeping symphonic richness to a score that is so often tossed off casually in live performances, and many passages were given unusual care, like the caressing cellos near the start of Act III. The Act I Te Deum — for me, the best part of the score by far — moved along, but not without touches of grace and revealing dissonances.

The Los Angeles Times
Richard S. Ginell
April 23, 2017
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James Conlon conducts the L.A. Opera Orchestra with symphonic grandeur, drawing demonic force from the percussion for the recurrent ‘Scarpia motive’, as well as sensuous beauty from the strings in the Act One love duet.  He accompanies the singers most diligently, often tenderly, as if he’s singing and breathing with them as one.  One savors the many ‘chamber music moments’, as in the galloping string pizzicato at the start of the love duet, or the lovely cello solo against the lush strings during “Vissi’ d’arte”.

Classical Voice
Truman C. Wang
April 28, 2017
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It almost goes without saying, but they deserve the shout out: James Conlon and the LA Opera orchestra were amazing. Even if you’ve seen “Tosca” a million times, don’t miss the chance to hear them.

Culture Spot LA
Julie Riggott
April 28, 2017
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James Conlon and his orchestra do not disappoint. Their fantastic execution of Puccini’s stirring music help guide the audience, amplifying emotions of characters and alluding to plot points. They are actors in this performance, leading the audience deeper into the story. The most fantastic example is when Cavaradossi is alone in prison, writing his final letter to Tosca.  Conlon and his orchestra perfectly execute the shift in the mood of the music; their change from the somber song to a love theme helps the audience realize that Tosca is coming, and when she walks through the door, their reunion becomes even sweeter.

Daily Trojan
Rose Bueno
April 26, 2017
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Your emotions will be set ablaze by the blood-and-thunder orchestral performance led by conductor James Conlon that balances Puccini’s melodies and melodrama.

Los Angeles Daily News
Jim Farber
April 25, 2017
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Conductor James Conlon brought out the drama of Puccini’s music in what is said to be his seventieth rendition of the opera. Thursday night’s show was only his second performance of the work in LA, however, and he showed this audience his distinctive, carefully crafted, richly detailed interpretation.

Opera Today
Maria Nockin
May 6th, 2017
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Photo: Chester Higgins