12th Mar - 03rd Apr 2016

LA Opera: Puccini’s Madame Butterfly

“James Conlon and the LA Opera Orchestra beautifully conveyed the shifting moods of the score as we sat, hypnotically transported to the Japan of Puccini’s imaginings.” — Seen and Heard International

“James Conlon conducted with theatrical urgency, and the L.A. Opera orchestra, which obviously knows this score well, played magnificently.” — LA Times

“Maestro James Conlon’s rapport with the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and with the performers assures that any performance he assays will be musical experience of a high order. Although Conlon’s conducting of operas by Mozart, Verdi and Wagner is always memorable, Conlon clearly has a special affinity for Puccini and a connection with “Butterfly”. One can trust that what one is hearing from the Los Angeles Orchestra is a world class orchestral interpretation of Puccini’s incomparable score.” — Opera Warhorses

“No surprise, conductor James Conlon and the LA Opera orchestra are magnificent. The music soars and so do the voices of most of the performers.” — Culture Vulture

“Puccini’s score, which incorporates both Japanese motifs and recurring strains of “The Star-Spangled Banner” into its idiomatically Italianate palette, is rendered with exceptional verve by LA Opera Music Director and conductor James Conlon.” — LAist

“From the pit, conductor James Conlon kicks off the overture with a rousing pace and throws plenty of hard jabs with splashes of percussion, stabbing strings and sweeping crescendos. The orchestra rewarded Conlon with impeccable execution on opening night.” — LA Downtown News

“The orchestra is magnificent under James Conlon. Not a moment of untruth or discord was felt throughout the almost three-hour production.” — LA Splash

“James Conlon’s musical direction consistently amplifies the spectral coloration, dramatic momentum, and melodic delicacy in Puccini’s score…” — Los Angeles Daily News

“Puccini’s cherished music was impeccably conducted by James Conlon and performed by the LA Opera orchestra.” — AXS

“No matter how many times I’ve heard an opera before, when James Conlon conducts it I hear new sonorities and gain new insight. On Saturday evening he played Butterfly’s“Japonaiserie” with clarity and lyrical beauty. He imbued every phrase with meaning and produced a performance of consistent musical and dramatic values. Under his leadership, Madama Butterfly was a masterpiece of musical theater.” — Opera Today

“Music Director James Conlon once again proves why he enjoys the longevity he does. His orchestra had a great deal of dynamic impact that made the musical journey particularly exciting. Percussion was walloped to the extent I saw other musicians plugging their ears during the fortissimos. But the sweet quasi-Asian sounds of the massed violins played equally well on the other, softer end of the spectrum.” — Culture Spot LA

“The L.A. Opera Orchestra was especially vibrant, and conductor James Conlon heightened the dynamic intensity skillfully during the tragic final act.” — LA Weekly

“At the podium, Maestro Conlon once again showcased his versatility as an artist, achieving an ardent verismic passion from the musicians. In the program notes, Conlon states, “Love and life, lived and lost together, are the elements of melodrama. This common theme is not his exclusive property. But in 12 operas … Puccini filters and distills it in a very personal way, almost exclusively through the agency of the maltreated woman.” — Daily Trojan

“James Conlon conducts with his masterly touch…” — Easy Reader News

“Music Director James Conlon led the LA Opera Orchestra in a reading so full-bodied that it was apparent he had to put the brakes on a few times. I have never been so aware of the careful architecture of the first act love duet and how it restarts itself from nearly the same musical point only to reach a larger symphonic and emotional climax each time.” — Parterre Box

“…James Conlon wields his baton with all the finesse of a musical samurai, conducting Puccini’s effervescent score.” —  Hollywood Progressive

“James Conlon … delivered a first-rate production… One suspects connoisseurs and newbies alike were more than satisfied.” — The Examiner

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