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Newsletter Archive:  Spring 2018 | Fall 2017Fall 2016 | Spring 2016


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Das Rheingold, Opéra de Montréal

The Lowe Down: Opéra de Montréal: Does Wagner make the opera house?: “American conductor Michael Christie led the augmented Orchestre Metropolitain as well as the vocal forces in a powerful and musically compelling performance. For me, it made the silly story worth sitting through. This was a fine Wagner performance.” - Times Argus, 11/17/18

Huang Ruo's An American Soldier, Opera Theatre of St. Louis


A Soldier’s Racially Charged Suicide Becomes a Powerful Opera: “Both the subtle colorings and pummeling intensity came through in the compelling performance the conductor Michael Christie drew from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.” The New York Times, 6/13/18


‘An American Soldier’ and ‘Regina’ Reviews: Prejudice and Power: “Christie was the sensitive conductor.” Wall Street Journal, 6/12/18

The Enemy Within: 'An American Soldier' at Opera Theatre: “Conductor Michael Christie, who has shown great skill and sensitivity in the past with everything from Puccini to John Adams, once again directs the a persuasive performance.” KDHX, 6/5/18

Verdi's Rigoletto, Minnesota Opera


Marvelous music dispels the darkness in Minnesota Opera’s ‘Rigoletto’: “The minor characters, chorus and orchestra are all in fine form for Michael Christie’s final production as the company’s music director.” St. Paul Pioneer Press, 3/18/18

Minnesota Opera's 'Rigoletto' offers scorching take on politics, patriarchy and power: “Conductor Michael Christie drew crisp, idiomatic playing from the orchestra” Star Tribune, 3/18/18

Twisted 'Rigoletto' is riveting drama at Ordway: “Christie...shows why he’s an outstanding conductor in the pit.” Post Bulletin, 3/22/18

What Goes Around Comes Around – Minnesota Opera’s Powerful “Rigoletto”: “Conductor Michael Christie’s musicians are superb.” Lavender, 3/20/18

Santa Rosa Symphony

Santa Rosa Symphony conductor candidate Michael Christie puts spotlight on musicians: “Conducting with restraint and precision, Christie captured the American spirit — its determination, resourcefulness and optimism — with a steady rhythmic pulse.” Press Democrat, 2/11/18

Michael Christie Takes the Santa Rosa Symphony on an “All-American” Ride: an elegant conductor with balletic arm movements and a firm grasp of rhythm. He is at once restrained and expressive, an expert at using his undulating arms to lead the orchestra in thunderous crescendos and whispering diminuendos. San Francisco Classical Voice, 2/13/18

Heggie's Dead Man Walking, Minnesota Opera


Minnesota Opera’s ‘Dead Man Walking’ traverses tough terrain: “Minnesota Opera has put together an excellent ensemble, while conductor Michael Christie and the orchestra do fine things with the score.” St. Paul Pioneer Press, 1/29/18


Minnesota Opera's 'Dead Man Walking' soars with emotion, excellent singing: “The work's virtues...are made abundantly clear in this thoughtful, often gripping, production [with] deft pacing by conductor Michael Christie.” Star Tribune, 1/29/18


A Magnetic “Dead Man Walking” Enters the Realm of the Sacred: “Conductor Michael Christie’s orchestra aligns with that mix beautifully.” Lavender, 2/1/18


Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Rochester Philharmonic


Classical review: RPO performs Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'the results were close to perfection ... [Christie] has crafted a smart, cohesive, and accessible playlist of mostly Italian masters, and in the process, has presented the RPO in a new, refreshing light. Rochester City Newspaper, 12/4/17


RPO presents Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'Fox Rochester, 12/13/17

On Record with Michael Christie and Juliana AthaydeClassical 91.5 FM, 12/14/17

Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Minnesota Opera


Reignite your love of Mozart at Minnesota Opera’s “Figaro”St. Paul Pioneer Press, 11/12/17


Review: Mozart's 'Figaro' is more relevant than ever: “'Figaro' is a long show that flies by, thanks to crisp conducting by Michael Christie, fast-paced direction by Lawless and a versatile scenic design by Leslie Travers.” Post Bulletin, 11/18/17

Regional Reviews: Minneapolis/St. Paul - The Marriage of Figaro: “Led by music director Michael Christie, the orchestra delivers Mozart's score with such beautiful care, creating moments of soaring passion, arch humor, aching despair, and frisky mischief, that it easily is reason enough to spend three hours at the Ordway.” Talkin' Broadway, 11/19/17

Le Nozze di Figaro - MN Opera: “Michael Christie and the MN Opera Orchestra delivered a fine performance, and the house (which was unsurprisingly full) was energized and engaged throughout.” Life in Revue, 11/14/17

Mason Bates' The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (world premiere), Santa Fe Opera

Creating Tradition – ‘The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs’ Conductor Michael Christie on the Responsibilities of Leading World Premieres. OperaWire, 7/21/17

The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs is (R)evelatory in Santa Fe Premiere: This opera’s success is a collaborative victory. Conductor Michael Christie, director Kevin Newbury ... and a strong cast, chorus, and orchestra deserve equal credit for the opera’s mesmerizing unfolding. San Francisco Classical Voice, 7/24/17

‘The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs’: Zen and the art of opera: "Michael Christie conducted with precision and pizzazz, and a couple of orchestral interludes truly got the adrenaline pumping." Santa Fe New Mexican, 7/23/17

From Minnesota to Santa Fe: Familiar names animate dazzling Steve Jobs opera: “Michael Christie ... [gave] careful guidance to the pulsating yet delicate electro-acoustic score.” MinnPost, 7/28/17

The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Santa Fe Opera, New Mexico — high-powered: “Michael Christie presides over an expertly executed performance. Santa Fe Opera has a hit on its hands.” Financial Times, 7/24/17

BWW Review: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs Sells Out at Santa Fe Opera: “Michael Christie did a fabulous job of integrating Bates' electronica with the orchestral instruments.” Broadway World, 7/23/17

Steve Jobs comes alive, in all his contradictions, in new opera: “Bates’ score, led with suave assurance by conductor Michael Christie, constantly finds ways to encapsulate a character or a dramatic situation that are accessible but rarely obvious” San Francisco Chronicle, 7/27/17

Santa Fe's Steve Jobs opera shows troubled tech visionary in search of his humanity: “Conductor Michael Christie draws precise playing and firm rhythmic drive from the orchestra, modulating the intensity for the moodier confrontations.” Chicago Tribune, 8/8/17

Santa Fe Opera offers beautiful singing and an important world premiere: “New-music specialist Michael Christie, an OTSL regular, handled the score’s driving rhythms with aplomb.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8/21/17

Santa Fe Opera premieres remarkable, powerful opera about Steve Jobs: “Michael Christie, well known in Boulder as the music director of the Colorado Music Festival for 13 years, held the ensemble expertly together. There is a lot to manage, and he seemed in control every minute, managing the flow of the complex score and getting the big moments right where they should be.” Sharps and Flatirons, 8/8/17

World Premiere Review: Ovations for the (R)evolution of Steve Jobs: “Maestro Michael Christie in his Santa Fe Opera debut excelled in keeping all the orchestral and electronic elements together.” Opera Warhorses, 7/24/17

A Visionary (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at Santa Fe Opera: “The cast is embraced by Bates' monumental, kaleidoscopic, and continuously pulsing orchestra, its virtuoso performance under the direction of Michael Christie” LA Opus, 7/27/17

'Steve Jobs' and 'The Golden Cockerel' are stars at Santa Fe Opera: “Conductor Michael Christie coordinated everything with a sure hand” Dallas Morning News, 8/8/18

‘Steve Jobs’ a seamless blend of electronica and symphonic music: “Conductor Michael Christie kept the production moving with his clear, decisive beat and cues to the stage and pit. The electro-acoustic orchestra was fabulous.” Albuquerque Journal, 7/26/17

Steve Jobs opera: Forget the hype, is it any good?: “conductor Michael Christie set the pace with often breathtaking propulsiveness” Mercury News, 8/8/17

‘The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs’ Review: The Apple Co-Founder Gets His Own Aria: “Michael Christie was the forceful conductor.” Wall Street Journal, 8/7/17

World Premiere: “The (R)Evolution of Steve Jobs”: “A lot of the credit must be shared with conductor Michael Christie, whose command of the proceedings was superb, balancing forces beautifully and allowing the drama to speak via the score. Bravo.” Movers & Makers, 8/8/17

Steve Jobs Opera Scores Smash Hit For Mason Bates: “Michael Christie conducted a vibrant performance, with the company’s orchestra in ultra-alert form” Classical Voice North America, 7/25/17

Jobs, the Smart-Phone Guy, goes operatic: “Michael Christie conducted spiritedly.” Arts SF, 7/23/17

The man, the machine and now Steve Jobs, the opera: “Michael Christie [created] an unobjectionable balance between acoustical and electronic sounds and [kept] the opera moving along.” Los Angeles Times, 7/27/17

Puccini's La Bohème, Minnesota Opera

Minnesota Opera production is everything you want a 'Bohème' to be: "Music Director Michael Christie led the orchestra, which did a beautiful job with Puccini’s lush, luminous score, with its hummable melodies and memorable themes." MinnPost, 5/9/17

Minnesota Opera’s “La Boheme” transports to Paris via love and youthful energy: "This production also underlines the tremendous strides that the Minnesota Opera Orchestra has made since Michael Christie came on board as music director in 2012. While sculpting the ideal atmosphere and laying a beautifully balanced foundation beneath the soaring arias and duets, the orchestra did Puccini … just right." Pioneer Press, 5/7/17

Minnesota Opera trims the excesses for an emotionally convincing 'La Bohème': "Presiding in the pit, Christie provided the pulse and tension that Puccini’s music requires, along with the necessary stretching of phrases to support the singers. Drawing polished sounds from the orchestra, he also made the most of the hypnotically beautiful opening minutes of Act III — Puccini at his most poetic." Star Tribune, 5/8/17

Mozart's Don Giovanni, Washington National Opera


Don Giovanni gets a youthful outing at Washington National Opera: "Here [Michael Christie] delivers the wonderful textures and turns of Mozart from the first foreboding chords of the overture and introduces the gorgeous experience of hearing live orchestral music in isolation before transporting us all to the land of imagination and a grand story." DC Theatre Scene, 3/23/17

Heggie's Dead Man Walking, Washington National Opera


Dead Man Walking in Washington DC an unforgettable emotional experience: "The orchestra led by Michael Christie played the difficult music of shifting motifs, dynamics, rhythms and harmonies with eloquence and skill. Mr Christie moved the harrowing music drama with impeccable timing and volume control." Bachtrack, 3/5/17

Opera Review: ‘Dead Man Walking’ at Washington National Opera: "Everything from the orchestra, masterfully led by Michael Christie, to the simple staging and light cues were all to help you focus on the subject material; forgiveness." MD Theatre Guide, 2/27/17

Washington National Opera's 'Dead Man Walking': "The pace never lingers too long, let alone wallows ... thanks to the fluid and stark sets of Allen Moyer and the push of the music as propelled by conductor Michael Christie." The Georgetowner, 2/27/17

WNO gives a worthy DC premiere of Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking”: "Michael Christie, music director of Minnesota Opera, had a strong debut at the podium, conducting the score with authority." Washington Classical Review, 2/26/17

Finding Truth at the Opera in Washington: "Wonderfully conducted by Michael Christie and staged by Francesca Zambello, Dead Man Walking is a sort of mirror in which Americans can look at themselves in all of their contradictions." WQXR, 3/8/17

Soler's Diana's Garden, Minnesota Opera


Minnesota Opera’s ‘Diana’s Garden’ imperfect but enjoyable: "Martin y Soler’s score receives appropriately Mozartean care and energy from conductor Michael Christie and the Minnesota Opera Orchestra." Pioneer Press, 1/22/2017

Minnesota Opera smartly replants 'Diana's Garden' in 1950s America: "Michael Christie propelled Martin's graceful music with a shrewd sense of pace" Star Tribune, 1/25/2017

Wagner's Das Rheingold, Minnesota Opera


Minnesota Opera presents a Rheingold that works on every level: "Michael Christie’s direction kept the proceedings under tight control, his conducting emphasizing clarity throughout. The augmented Minnesota Opera Orchestra played idiomatically, conjuring up an imposing Wagnerian sound at all the right moments including the procession of the gods into Valhalla, surely one of the most thrilling musical moments in all of opera." BachTrack, 11/20/2016

A Wagner piece, extra long, at Minnesota Opera? Surprising, and worth it: "Yet the highest praise should be reserved for those given the tallest task: conductor Michael Christie and the orchestra. From the hypnotic, slow-building opening to the final triumphal entry into Valhalla, they offer non-stop transportation to a magical world." Pioneer Press, 11/13/2016

Minnesota Opera goes bold and big for its 'Rheingold': "Leading the orchestra, Christie sustained tension and clarity throughout the non-stop two-and-a-half-hour course of the opera and drew polished playing from the musicians." Star Tribune, 11/15/2016

5 reasons to see ‘Das Rheingold’, MinnPost, 11/15/2016

Twin Cities opera lovers explain: What's the big deal with Wagner?, Star Tribune, 11/4/2016

Maestro Michael Christie On Minnesota Opera’s Das Rheingold, Opera Sense, 10/23/2016

Charles Gounod's Romeo and Juliet, Minnesota Opera

Romeo & Juliet @ Minnesota Opera, In Review: "The true star of the opera in my book, however, was undeniably Maestro Michael Christie, who, like an elite athlete, exerted just enough energy to convey exactly what he wanted from his orchestra, one of the best in the business in my book." Opera Sense, 10/4/2016

Colorado Music Festival

Former CMF Music Director Christie Returns To A Warm Welcome: "This is great musical drama. I have never heard the Ives more effectively introduced: the sudden hushed chord after the last loud flourish of the Bernstein was breathtaking. May I recommend this pairing to other conductors out there?" Sharps and Flatirons, 7/15/2016

Review: Michael Christie cheered by Chautauqua crowd in Boulder: "... something about Christie's presence on the Chautauqua Auditorium stage Thursday evening that seemed comforting, reassuring, and yes, unifying.... Christie was in simultaneous communion with both the orchestra and the soloist in an almost transcendent way." Daily Camera, 7/15/2016

Colorado Music Festival season includes change, Christie guest appearanceDaily Camera, 3/4/2016

The Shining (world premiere), Minnesota Opera

Minnesota Opera’s ‘The Shining’ review: Spine-chilling and superb: "It’s a demanding score, but conductor Michael Christie and the Minnesota Opera Orchestra shape it with a deft blend of strength and subtlety." Pioneer Press, 5/8/16

‘The Shining’ and ‘The Scarlet Letter’ Reviews: "Michael Christie was the capable conductor." Wall Street Journal, 5/16/16

The Shining: "The Minnesota Opera Orchestra, under the heroic leadership of Michael Christie, gave an exceptionally polished performance of the churning, continuously challenging score." Opera News, 5/7/16

As an opera, “The Shining” knows it’s good to be King: "But that was the case here and it was due to deft deliveries and audience-centered stewardship of the material by director Eric Simonson and conductor Michael Christie." The Denver Post, 5/16/16

At Minnesota Opera, "The Shining" Dazzles: "And in the hands of the team from the Minnesota Opera—conductor Michael Christie, stage director Eric Simonson, scenery and properties designer Erhard Rom, the craftsmen of 59 Productions and their many colleagues—The Shining received a stunning production that realized the full potential of the score." Sharps and Flatirons, 5/9/16

The Shining: A Chilling Artistic Triumph: "Moravec’s richly textured orchestral writing--vividly shaped by conductor Michael Christie--is particularly impressive in establishing the center of gravity for each rapidly unfolding scene." Musical America, 5/16/16

“The Shining” — Mulligan Surpasses Nicholson in Great New Opera that Explores the Cycle of Child Abuse: "The orchestra, conducted by Michael Christie, is flawless and seamless as we journey into this dark night of the soul." Lavender Magazine, 5/11/16

REVIEW: The Shining = Brilliant Psychodrama (Minnesota Opera): "with musical lines and characters emerging from the turbulent mass under Michael Christie’s careful baton." Twin Cities Arts Reader, 5/10/16

'The Shining' set for Minnesota Opera's 2015-16 season, Star Tribune, 2/25/15

Minnesota Opera's new season includes classics, Stephen King's thrillerPioneer Press, 2/21/15

Six months out, Minnesota Opera's 'The Shining' already sounds ominousMinnPost, 11/24/15

Spooky music: Stephen King goes to the operaStar Tribune, 11/24/15

Rising Stars Concert, Lyric Opera of Chicago

'Ghostlight' more strange than spectral in MCA premiereChicago Tribune, 3/27/2016

Rusalka, Minnesota Opera

Review: Dreamy 'Rusalka' is catch of the dayPost-Bulletin, 1/30/2016

Minnesota Opera's 'Rusalka' in final week; 'Dinner at Eight' next seasonMinnPost, 1/26/2016 

REVIEW: Lush Rusalka Delights (Minnesota Opera)Twin Cities Arts Reader, 1/24/2016‎

Minnesota Opera revives its gorgeous 'Rusalka'Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1/24/2016

The Magic Flute, Minnesota Opera

Review: Film and opera merge in Minnesota Opera's 'Magic Flute', The Post-Bulletin, 11/19/15

Review: Minnesota Opera's revival of 'Magic Flute' is a magical, witty mélange : "The rambunctious multimedia production is heavy on laughs, but faithful to Mozart’s spirit." Star Tribune, 11/15/15

Review: The genius of the Minnesota Opera's 'Magic Flute', Classical MPR, 11/15/15

Review: The Magic Flute - Minnesota OperaTalkin' Broadway, 11/15/2015

The Manchurian Candidate (world premiere), Minnesota Opera

Review: The Manchurian Candidate: "(Puts's) score was quite well served by conductor Michael Christie, who achieved excellent balance and revelation of orchestral detail throughout the night." Opera News, June 2015

27 CD Release - Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

CD Review: Gordon's "27": "Gordon has indisputable assets in the nimble conducting of Michael Christie (leading a lean, lithe band)…” Opera News, June 2015

CD Review: Great classical music with a local touch, from Spanish song to Brahms: "Michael Christie conducts members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra with style, panache and clarity." St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 6/27/15

Silent Night, Wexford Festival Opera


Review: Wexford Festival Opera's Silent Night, “Michael Christie, who conducted Silent Night at its world premiere, led the Orchestra of Wexford Festival Opera in a beautifully transparent performance.” Opera News, February 2015

La Fanciulla del West, Minnesota Opera


Review: La Fanciulla del West: "Under the supple baton of Michael Christie, who has grown appreciably in his tenure as music director, both ensembles were wonderfully pointed and potent." Opera News, December 2014

Feature Articles

Talking with Conductors: Michael Christie, Schmopera, 2/13/19


Michael Christie: New Opera That The Box Office Loves, Schmopera, 7/13/16

Young Minnesota Opera maestro is man on the move, MPR News, 4/21/13

Michael Christie's time, Star Tribune, 9/22/12

Opera's Next Wave: Michael Christie, Opera News, August 2012

Opera Man, Twin Cities Metro, April 2012

Michael Christie conducts effort to balance symphonic and opera worlds, Denver Post, 7/16/10

Frequent Flyer, Symphony Magazine (cover story), Jan./Feb. 2009 (pdf)

The Talented Mr. Christie, by Brad Weismann, 11/4/2008

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