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  1. This was a Samhain well-spent in courtesy of Mesdames Sondra Radvanovsky's and Joyce DiDonato's insurmountable and prodigious skills as singing actresses in the pivotal roles of the famous druid priestess, Norma, and her young friend, Adalgisa. Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.
  2. 'Twas a dark, claustrophobic, and creepy production of Lucia di Lammermoor. And a fine lyric soprano with a good coloratura technique rose to the challenge to take on such an iconic heroine, as she has also sung this in some opera houses. Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.
  3. Tonight's premiere of Werther: A Wound in the Soul was quite a success. I would love to thank my director, Frank-Tilmann Otto, for his patience and my co-star, Jerome Winistädt, for his dedication. There are three more showings at Theater O-Ton Art next Wednesday, next Sunday, and November 2. So, I hope you all come and see you next time!

    El estreno de esta noche de Werther: Una Herida en el Alma era un exito. Quiero a agradecer mi director, Frank-Tillmann Otto, por su paciencia y mi coestrella, Jerome Winistädt, por su dedicación. Hay tres más acutaciones en el Theater O-Ton Art en el miercoles próximo, el domingo próximo, y el segundo de noviembre. Entonces, espero que veneis y hasta la próxima.

    Die Premiere von Werther: Ein Riss in der Seele war ein Erfolg. Ich würde gern mein Regisseur, Frank-Tillmann Otto, für seine Geduld und mein Co-Star, Jerome Winistädt, für seine Leidenschaftlichkeit bedanken. Es gibt noch drei Showings am nächsten Mittwoch, am nächsten Sonntag, und am 2. November an dem Theater O-Ton Art. Also, ich hoffe ihr alle kommt und bis zum nächsten Mal.
    Plakat Werther klein.jpg
  4. Julie Taymor's aesthetically vivid production comes to life and one lovely lyric soprano in the form of Miss Golda Schultz rises up to the challenge to take on Pamina at the Met joined by a cavalcade of musical titans. Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.
  5. It's Don Giovanni meets Steampunk and the Seven Deadly Sins in a small theater. Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.
  6. Top of the morning, everybody! I made a few edits to my Patreon account and I also added a couple of goals, which will help me flourish and get into high gear in my work, career, and passion as an online critic. I hope you can support me in this journey and until then, take care and have a lovely Sunday.
  7. After seven years of refurbishing, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden is back in town to reopen her grand gates with this uplifting Beethoven symphony headed by Herr Daniel Barenboim and starring such invigorating soloists like Frau Diana Damrau, Frau Okka von der Damerau, Herr Burkhard Fritz, and Herr René Pape. Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.
  8. Here's my rendition of Pedrillo's serenade, Im Mohrenland gefangen war, from Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, which was filmed two years ago. I hope you all enjoy it! :D
  9. Hey, everybody! Antoni, here, with another fan fiction recommendation. And this time, we're taking a look at Encounter, a soul calibur fanfic written by vhorizon. It's rated T. It's in English and the main characters of this fanfic are Mitsurugi and Maxi.

    Now, if you know me, I love it when Mitsurugi and Maxi get paired up together either as friendly rivals, really good friends, or just a couple of guys willing to knock each other out, yet still have a good time. That's mostly because their characters were famously voiced by veteran Seiyuu, Toshiyuki Morikawa and Nobutoshi Canna, whose collaborations in Bleach, Slam Dunk, Naruto, and Berserk are pure evidence that these two have amazing chemistry voicing friends, rivals, allies, and friendly rivals. Plus, these two seem to be pretty good friends in real life, if the list of collaborations weren't evident enough.

    The basic plot revolves around Mitsurugi encountering an old enemy of his who has come back for vengeance after his arm was lost. Meanwhile, Maxi has gotten himself in a pickle with an assassin who seems to be Astaroth's minion. After all that, the two then meet each other and it's an all-out battle between Mitsurugi and Maxi against the police who are going to arrest them.

    This story is quite well-done in terms of establishing the epic feel of the Soul series. I like how the fight scenes are described being quite vivid without being too wordy. However, the biggest highlight has to be Mitsurugi and Maxi in this story. The way they formed an alliance with each other was really well-done and I wish there were more stories, which have them as best friends almost like brothers and just go around kicking butt. Their newfound friendship is established well and the fact that they are still in character, with Mitsurugi's stoic, single-minded nature and Maxi's cool sarcasm and laid-back attitude, is great as their personalities mesh well.

    The negatives mostly come from the wrong wording, i.e. "were" instead of "we're", missing apostrophes before the s, and even when it's only one person the apostrophe ended up after the s when it should have been before it, and some of the paragraph spacing could've been improved. I'm sure that should vhorizon come back to this fanfic to polish it up, it would be great. On top of that, in terms of the title of the story, Soul Calibur should've been capitalized because that is the franchise the story is based on. There was also the issue of if the female assassin came on her own volition or as a command by Astaroth, but I digress.
    Overall, despite some technical issues, this is a fanfic I can safely recommend if you are a fan of Mitsurugi and Maxi from the Soul series and if you like video-game based fanfics altogether.

    With that said, I give this a grade of B+. Yes, some of the technical issues did bog this down, but the story was well-done, to say the least, and I would love to see more stories of Mitsurugi and Maxi being allies because these two are awesome when they work together. I know I'm going to hate sounding like a broken record, but the possibilities between these two are numberless. Whether they beat the crap out of their foes or each other, they have a sort of strong, masculine, and overall great presence, which makes them stand out among all the other Soul series characters, but that's just me.

    Well, that's all for now, I'm sorry if I haven't been doing more video blog style opera reviews as I should, but you know how it is. Fulfilling academic expectations and the upcoming Werther play and many other things certainly make it rather impossible to find enough time. However, don't despair. There are a lot of fanfics out there, that I would love to recommend, so stay tuned for those. Until then, have a great autumn season.
  10. Hey, everybody! Antoni, here, with another fan fiction recommendation. Yes, I know I was supposed to review Mozart's Die Zauberflöte starring Tuuli Takala and Siobhan Stagg as the Queen of the Night and Pamina respectively, but I was busy with other things like school, I was quite knackered, and there was a bit of public transportation repair that had to be done, which was a bit of a detriment to my attempted journey to the Deutsche Oper Berlin. So, I decided to compensate for this loss with this interesting little fanfic based on one of my all-time favorite Nicktoons, Hey Arnold!

    The fanfic I'll be taking a look at is, Arnold Betrays Iggy: Alternate Ending written by colossalblackening. It's rated K. It's in English and it was published to on April 15 of this year.

    Have you ever watched an episode of your favorite TV show, whether it's animated or live-action, and spotted an episode that makes you sick to your stomach because of its mean-spiritedness, out of character moments, and had many moments which make you say, "What the Hell happened?" Do you also feel that you could've bettered the overall story? Well, Arnold Betrays Iggy is one of those episodes and it was so bad that Craig Bartlett and his crew apologized for this episode's existence. And of course, enter a bunch of fan fiction authors who do their best to write their interpretations of how they would rewrite certain episodes they don't particularly like into something more optimistic and less mean-spirited. My personal experience with this episode was I hated it when I was a kid, felt disinterested with it as I grew up, and I still could not stand this particular episode, especially when Sid and Stinky were at fault for forcing the secret out of Arnold and they should've been the ones to pay the consequences. With that said, let's get on to my thoughts on the fanfic.

    The fanfic starts off when Arnold finishes all of Iggy's chores, yet the latter still has not forgiven the former. This is probably to establish that we as Hey Arnold fans or those who watched this episode already what happened prior, which is not a bad start, but I felt like the story could've started similarly to the original episode. I digress though, as after this the story then cuts to the chase of the familiar scene where Iggy forces Arnold to wear the bunny pajamas. For the record, it's nice to read that Arnold's grandpa is not being willing to take pictures of his humiliation and that Iggy confronted Stinky and Sid whilst the two of them were regretting that they were the ones actually at fault for what happened. I'm not going to spoil the ending to this fanfic, but let's just say that it's so satisfying with a few humorous moments coming from a few familiar characters, a touching moment with Gerald, Arnold's best friend forever, plus with Iggy, yet an element that was a bit of headscratcher, but I digress, it's still so satisfying and will leave anyone who reads this with a big smile and lots of pleasant thoughts.

    There is so much good in this fanfic. Everyone was in character, the humor from Hey Arnold! is still greatly intact, and more than anything the ending is super satisfying, especially if you cannot tolerate or even abhor Arnold Betrays Iggy. The layout is really good, though I am kind of not a fan of having the transitions marked on there as if it were a script.

    Even though the story was well-written, I did spot some grammar errors, in the form of missing words, and they were kind of jarring, but not enough to deter me. One noticeable one was, "how come you there with everyone else yesterday?" when it should have been, "how come you were not there with everyone else yesterday?". Another issue was minor and once you read the ending to the fanfic, you will know what I mean.

    So, there you have it. You know what I'm going to give this fanfic and it's an A-. It had a few grammatical errors and it had a bit of a plothole, but when all is said and done, the strengths more than outweigh the weaknesses and it is a fine retelling of how Arnold Betrays Iggy should've ended.

    Well, that's all for now, and be sure to tune in for another fan fiction recommendation. Goodnight, everybody!
  11. I know this is a week late to say this considering all the stuff I had to do from reviews to acting to school, but I am very blessed to have once again received my next YouTube Partnership payment of 74 Euros. On top of that, I have also reached 457 subscribers, which is really exciting. I want to thank all of my subscribers, friends, family, co-reviewers, colleagues, fellow singers, fellow voice actors, fellow actors, fellow artists, fellow musicians, and role models for supporting me on my journey as a reviewer, actor, and singer on YouTube. I am very happy and grateful to have you all in my life and I, too, wish you all the best on all of your engagements.

    If you want to be a part of my journey as a reviewer of operas, concerts, albums, musicals, ballet, anime, cartoons, and movies, please do subscribe to my channel, as I will be very thankful. Until then, I hope you have a great day or evening, depending on where you live, stay awesome and grand, and see you all on the flipside. Take care!
  12. After countless engagements not only at the Deutsche Oper Berlin but also many other opera houses worldwide, the amazing and noble Noel Bouley rises up to the challenge to sing the famous Ethiopian warrior king, Amonasro. Joining him was the fine Spanish dramatic tenor with an incisive voice, Señor Jorge de Leon, who was the handsome, dashing, and strong Radames, and even Robert Watson in the small role of the Messenger, who is celebrating his very special day and this review is also dedicated to him. Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.
  13. Two gentlemen making their Deutsche Oper Berlin debuts, two artists making their role debuts, one thrilling opera guaranteed to sweep you off your feet, what more can anyone ask for? Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.
  14. Pretty Yende shows a lot of elegance and magnificent musical prowess as the tragic heroine, Lucia, and René Barbera makes his successful Deutsche Oper Berlin debut as her dashing yet doomed lover, Edgardo. Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.
  15. Hey, everybody! Antoni, here, with another fanfic recommendation. For those of you who watched my of Jigoku Shoujo or Hell Girl will know that I also recommended this as a really good read. That's right it's Jigoku Shoujo Season 1: Aftermath written by Celestialfae back on January 25, 2012, and it was completed on June 16 of this year. It's rated T, it's in English, and it has 26 chapters. Even though there are several moments where Ai Enma is the focal point of the story, this belongs to the victims of Season 1 and of course Hajime and Tsugumi Shibata, so each of their stories are stand-alone, yet nonetheless, are linked to Ai Enma.

    It should be no surprise that I am a major fan of Hell Girl and if ever I find the time to do the next top 15 favorite anime of all time or even bump it up to the next 25, Hell Girl will be placed on that list alongside Now and Then Here and There and Fantastic Children, which I regretted placing as honorable mentions. My history with this work by Celestialfae dates back four years ago when I first read a few chapters and I wanted so much more. I'm really happy this fanfic was completed because it was a fascinating read and here's why.

    The chapters follow the show's 26 episodes order to a T. There are some chapters in which the perspective is in the third-person form, while others like Chapters 5, 7, 11, 13, and 20 are in the first-person form to get a more in-depth look as to how the characters fared after their covenant with Ai Enma, and even a poem in Chapter 17 from the point of view of Nina's father. For the most part, the characters ranging from Mayumi Hashimoto from Episode 1 all the way up to Goro Ishizu from Episode 22 do their very best to live their lives even though eternal damnation awaits them. It is really interesting to witness what they are doing with their lives after everything they have endured before, during, and after encountering Ai Enma. Some are very successful and have different personalities from their show's counterparts to show that just because they have made it big does not mean that they can forget the pain caused to them by their tormentors, who are now six feet under. Others are deeply traumatized by what happened or are trying to pick the pieces back up in order to shape their lives in spite of their eternal damnation. Others turn to the cold, ambiguous side, as they will have to carry the burden they must live with. And of course Chapters 24-26 focus on Sentarou, Ai Enma, and Hajime and Tsugumi Shibata respectively. And in Chapter 23, a character is brought back to the mortal world and it's worth the read. If you've watched the show and the episode, you know who it is. I'll give you a guess. She's a sweet and innocent nurse who was unfairly sent to Hell by a depraved drug-addict. So, I am not going to mince words here, the stories found in each chapter were well-thought out and were overall well-done.

    There were chapters I really loved from this fanfic mostly because since I watched the episodes there were ones that stuck out really well and in turn, the chapters were of emotional interest. Forgiving the Faultless, which is Chapter 6, has Haruka Yasuda, whose shining moment in this fic was when she spoke up against her father and after a few moments of hesitation and trying to bury resentment formed a new friendship with Yuria Todaka. Raise your Voice, which is Chapter 7, gives more development to Kaoruko Kurushima and her exploits when encountering Midori Kurenai, Ayaka, the two thugs who gave her that voice-damaging tonic, and of course Ai Enma because in the show, she did not really have that much to say nor do as Cracked Mask was sort of meant to be a sort of an episode full of surprises and of course focuses on Ayaka's unraveling of her true, petty, and nasty personality. Worth It, which is Chapter 13, has Fukumoto who is contemplating his experience with Ai Enma and what lead him to pull the scarlet thread, yet live with agony until his old age. No One Mourns the Wicked, which is Chapter 16, focuses on Yumi now a young adult, more different than her poor, victimized younger self, and now an ambitious 23-year-old. Kikuri/The Lord of Hell even appears in this chapter and as they venture to Hell, the reader is then treated to such nightmarish, kind of graphic images that it's hard to purge them away. Papa's Angel, which is Chapter 17, does have Nina, but the focus is on her father, as he recites a poem that though short is rather heart-wrenching. You will have to read Chapter 23 in order to know who I'm talking about and I'm sure you will feel a lot of satisfaction after doing so. If I were to list more highlights from this fanfic, I would be here all day. Sufficed to say that the characters from each of the chapters have something unique to offer and their journeys after meeting Ai Enma are quite fascinating.

    Despite my immense love of this story, there were a few issues I had, but they did not detract my enjoyment of this fanfic. There were some punctuation errors, misspelled words, and a few grammatical errors. A good number of these were an oversight as I am sure that Celestialfae had a lot of things with to deal with in real life. And a minor detail that I found out was Haruka's father is not named Toshi, but rather Hideo, but that's just a minor gripe. I don't know if Celestialfae will come back to fix up the errors, but if she does, it would be great. Still, the errors are rather minor, and the layouts for each of the chapters are really solid.

    So, overall, this is a must-read if you are a fan of Hell Girl and would love to read how the victims of the show fared after encountering Ai Enma and their tribulations with their tormentors. With intriguing plots galore in each chapter and very interesting perspectives from each character, this fanfic is a welcome read for anyone who wants to see how the characters have been faring.

    With that said, I give this fanfic, a well-deserved grade of A. The errors are minor in my opinion, yet nonetheless, it is compensated greatly with excellent storytelling. If you are a fan of Hell Girl or just love great storytelling, this is totally for you.

    Well, that's all for now. Like I said, I do want to go back to doing video blog style reviews, but you know how it is with all of the expectations and priorities I have to fulfill. Maybe I might find the time, but I am sincerely anticipating the first Royal Opera House live stream in cinemas of the 2017/18 season with Mozart's Die Zauberflöte which I am eager to review despite it being on a Wednesday. So, until then, I do hope to get to reviewing that and until then, have a wonderful weekend.