KY Opera The Girl of the Golden West Final Dress rehersalPhoto by Patrick Pfister

On WUOL by Daniel Gilliam

“Kentucky Opera’s La fanciulla del west has set a high bar for the company, and general director David Roth’s vision of a “repertoire reimagined” may be coming to fruition.”

Soprano Michelle Johnson finds depth and meaning in every note. Her commanding presence and voice solidify Minnie as one of the great operatic leads in the repertoire.

“Burton gives Dick Johnson a warmness through his velvety tone and empathetic personality.”

“The rest of the cast, mostly supporting and male, was consistently strong, where even the shortest phrases were present. Of note was Melisa Bonetti’s Wowkle, who provided the perfect “are you serious?” moments in Act II. Lisa Hasson’s chorus was powerful and precise (she makes a cameo in the curtain call, in the middle of her dudes).”

“Maestro Jackson confidently led the Louisville Orchestra musicians through a complex, lush, sometimes weird, score. The orchestra was as impeccable as any LA studio.”

See full review here.

On by Selena Frye

“Kentucky Opera must have known they had their ace in the hole with Michelle Johnson, who more than pulls off the role. Johnson’s physical presence projects warmth and grace, and her rich, lush voice exhibits both roundness and versatility.”

“Burton has the vocal prowess required by Puccini, packing power and beauty into heart-meltingly romantic songs.”

“But the leads don’t get all the spotlight moments. The large chorus of miners and barroom brawlers were particularly enjoyable (directed by chorus master Lisa Hasson).”

“Conductor J. David Jackson directed the Louisville Orchestra in the pit, sounding as assured and seamless with the singers as usual.”

Read her full review here.

On by Annette Skaggs

“In Ms. Johnson’s Oh! se sapeste come il vivere e allego she absolutely lights up the theater with a clear and evoking soprano emitting Minnie’s love of life, and I think Michelle’s love of singing about life as well. Often times I believed Ms. Johnson was Minnie.”

“Mr. Burton’s Or son se mesi che no mi padre mori was filled with sadness, remorse and want of redemption; and his tenor cradled every note with fluidity.”

“Mr. Pomponi’s Rance was delicious.”

Read her full review here.


Lunch & Listen on WUOL

Courier Journal preview from Elizabeth Kramer preview by Selena Frye

17 Questions with Michelle Johnson on