Garrick Ohlsson Scriabin Program, London

Talking to a reviewer colleague during the intermission of Garrick Ohlsson’s all-Scriabin recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, he commented that he just "couldn't get Scriabin." This was after we had heard the "White Mass" Piano Sonata (No. 7 in F-sharp),  ...

Florencia en el Amazonas, LA Opera

Reader beware. This is not a review for the opera cognoscenti whose weary ears may be seeking newer, less familiar fodder. You know who you are. This is a review for the reader who may be a touch tired of  ...

La Bohème, SF Opera

Some things never go out of style: basic black, young love, “La Bohème.” Reputed to be the most often performed opera in the canon, Puccini’s tale of the consumptive seamstress, the impoverished poet and their high-spirited, if equally penniless, friends  ...

La Cenerentola, SF Opera

Instead of a fairy godmother, we have a wise old tutor and the glass slippers are now a pair of diamond bracelets. Aside from that, everything is as usual — only funnier — in Rossini’s operatic version of the timeless  ...

Dido and Aeneas/Bluebeard’s Castle, LA Opera

Why pair Baroque "Dido and Aeneas" with Bartok's 20th century "Bluebeard's Castle"? According to program notes by director Barrie Kosky of the Komische Oper Berlin they have much in common. His most convincing argument is that they are "two operas  ...

Tosca, SF Opera

Take one good-looking couple, she a fantastic soprano and he a very good tenor, add a not-very-threatening villain, a heavy-handed conductor, mix well and bake for a little over two hours. What comes out of the oven is San Francisco  ...

Partenope, SF Opera

Near the end of Act I of this decidedly comic British production of “Partenope,” in its company premiere at San Francisco Opera, a breeze wafts through an open window, billowing the diaphanous curtain in seductive swirls. That undulating fabric is  ...

Un Ballo in Maschera, SF Opera

What better way to celebrate the birthday of Giuseppe Verdi than with his famous costume party? And so it was that I found myself on October 10 at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House raising a metaphorical glass to  ...

La Traviata, LA Opera

The question: To be or not to be faithful to the original setting of an opera is known to evoke passions as intense as those expressed by the originalists fighting with the rest of us who think the Constitution should  ...