James Meena consistently earns critical acclaim for his artistic vision and dynamic presence on the podium in concert, opera, and ballet. Mo. Meena serves as Artistic Director for Opera Carolina (Charlotte) and Artistic Director for Opera Grand Rapids. Last season at Opera Carolina, the maestro conducted Tosca, Porgy and Bess, and La Traviata; with Opera Grand Rapids he conducted Aida. This season, he leads Die Zauberflöte at Teatro Sociale Como and Cremona, Cavalleria rusticana and Madama Butterfly for Opera Carolina, and La bohème for Opera Grand Rapids.
Recent engagements include acclaimed performances of Tosca at the Luglio Festivale Trapani in Sicilia, a double-bill of Rachmaninoff’s rarely-performed Aleko paired with Pagliacci as well as La fanciulla del West, both with the restored New York City Opera; Le nozze di Figaro for Teatro Sociale Rovigo Italy, La fanciulla del West for five prestigious Italian theaters: Teatro del Giglio, Lucca Italy, Teatro Verdi in Pisa, Teatro Alighieri di Ravenna, Teatro Pavarotti di Modena and Teatro Goldoni di Livorno, plus Rigoletto, The Magic Flute, Carmen and Yvgeny Onegin with Opera Carolina, Toledo Opera, and Opera Grand Rapids, plus a Gala concert with Renee Fleming and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra; Porgy & Bess with Margaret Island Open-Air Theatre in Budapest for their Summer Festival, and La bohème with the prestigious Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, La bohème with Opéra de Montréal, Masterworks Concerts with Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and Il barbiere di Siviglia , La fanciulla del West, and La Traviata with Opera Carolina. Additionally, he led Opera Carolina’s productions of I Dream, Don Giovanni, The Falling and Rising, and Aida, and Don Giovanni and Turandotfor Opera Grand Rapids. [read more...]
“…served as the ultimate capstone…” – Toledo Blade
Carmen – “The Toledo Symphony in the pit, lead by maestro James Meena, played with a precision and sensitivity that served as the ultimate capstone in this pinnacle artistic endeavor.”
"...conveyed the work’s seamless structure and richness...” – The New York Times
La fanciulla del West – “The conductor James Meena drew a surging, plush performance from the City Opera Orchestra … Mr. Meena and his players conveyed the work’s seamless structure and richness.
“...Maestro Meena as usual was rather perfect in his conducting..." – Opera Lively
Il barbiere di Siviglia – “Maestro Meena as usual was rather perfect in his conducting of the excellent Charlotte Symphony. …the pit was lively and colorful”
“...James Meena conducted this “Lucia” with a lightness and brio that lifted the score..." – The Charlotte Observer
Lucia di Lammermoor – “James Meena conducted this “Lucia” with a lightness and brio that lifted the score. The strings had a lustrous sheen. Mention should be made of the flutist, Amy Orsinger Whitehead, who accompanied Lucia in her mad scene like a shadow. Compliments are also in order for the harpist, and the fervent chorus.”
"...evoked intensity of color, luminous sonority and thrilling moments..." – The New York Times
"Opera Gala " – “Maestro James Meena evoked intensity of color, luminous sonority and thrilling moments which were devoted to an exquisitely impassioned performance.”