Opera Reviews

V. Bellini “Norma” (2019)

“Conductor Darwin Aquino had the orchestra sounding great from the first measures of the overture and generally maintained a good balance between stage and pit. He has a fine feel for the nuances of the bel canto style, and knows to breathe with the singers”.

— Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Maestro Darwin Aquino again draws wonderful work from his large orchestra, always maintaining perfect balance with the voices”.

— Steven Callahan, Broadway World Opera

“Conductor Darwin Aquino elicits a moving and absorbing performance of Bellini’s stirring music by the polished Winter Opera orchestra”.

— Mark Bretz, Ladue News 

“Conductor Darwin Aquino delivers another robust performance from the mighty Winter Opera orchestra. I don’t know whether it’s the Viragh Center acoustics, the quality of the players, or a bit of both, but the orchestra at Winter Opera always seems to sound larger than its size suggests”.

— Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX

G. Rossini “L’Italiana in Algeria” (2019)

The performance features a delightful interpretation of the composer’s score by conductor Darwin Aquino and his orchestra.

— Mark Bretz, Ladue News

“Maestro Darwin Aquino keeps a blazing pace, which is very right for this piece”.

— Steven Callahan, Broadway World Opera

 

G. Donizetti “Elisir D’Amore” (2018)

“The music is light and spirited, especially when given such a splendid reading by the Winter Opera orchestra under the smart, stylish conducting of Darwin Aquino, who keeps the tempo brisk and upbeat throughout”

— Ladue News, St. Louis

G. Bizet “Les Pecheurs de Perles” (2018)

“As he has in previous Winter Opera productions, Darwin Aquino led the orchestra in an authoritative account of the score. The ensemble always project a large sound in the acoustics of the Viragh Center”

— KDHK Theater Reviews, USA

“Lyricism of the score emerges with great beauty from the orchestra conducted by Darwin Aquino. As usual the balance between the voices and the orchestra was ideal”

— Two on the Aisle, St. Louis

“Maestro Aquino draws lovely work from his musicians throughout the opera”

— BWW Opera World, USA

G. Bizet “Carmen” (2017)

“The orchestra, under the direction of Darwin Aquino, gives the finest performance I’ve heard in any of the many productions I’ve seen at Winter Opera. With the opening phrases of the overture it simply bursts out of the gate. It snatches us up and carries us away like a robber bridegroom whisking his love up onto his galloping steed. The tempo is almost alarming. Such energy! Such excitement! Such precision!”

— BWW Opera World, USA

“Conductor Darwin Aquino kept them and the rest of the cast on track, with brisk tempos. The orchestra and the children’s chorus did solid work”

— St. LouisPost – Dispatch, USA

“Down in the pit, conductor Darwin Aquino leads the orchestra in a very polished interpretation of the score”

— Stage Left, USA

G. Verdi “Il Trovatore” (2016)

Aquino’s conducting was rousing and dominant, carrying Verdi’s rich score in the capable hands of the Winter Opera orchestra” / “Bizet’s music is captivating and enthralling, especially when performed as lushly as it was in Winter Opera’s presentation under the steady influence and keen ear of conductor Darwin Aquino, who kept the orchestra on a high level of performance throughout”

— Ladue News, Missouri

“Congratulations to Aquino, who brought all this together in a manner to do justice to Verdi

— BWW Opera World, USA

E. Chabrier “L’ Etoile” (2015)

“An excellent support and professional sound from the symphony orchestra, conducted by Darwin Aquino”

— The Miami Herald, Florida