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  ...

Susannah, SF Opera

“Ain’t it a pretty night,” sings the soprano and, whenever “Susannah” is in town, the night is more than pretty. It’s gorgeous. Carlisle Floyd’s 1955 work, written when he was only 27, may be the quintessential American opera  ...

Norma, SF Opera

Bel canto means “beautiful singing” and that’s what you get in San Francisco Opera’s new production of Bellini’s “Norma.” With the fantastic American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role, once utterly owned by the likes of Maria Callas  ...

The Year of the Understudy at Santa Fe Opera

Two-thousand fourteen may be remembered at Santa Fe Opera as the year of the understudy. First there was Shelley Jackson, a second-year apprentice, stepping in as Norina, the female lead in “Don Pasquale.” Laura Tatulescu, the soprano originally cast in  ...

Don Pasquale, Santa Fe

Laurent Pelly’s take on “Don Pasquale” this summer at Santa Fe Opera is tight, funny and physical. With only five characters and no chorus, this narrowly focused opera allows for each individual voice, and actor, to shine. Beyond that, thanks  ...

Daniela Mack and Alek Shrader

“Carmen” and “Don Pasquale” may be alternating onstage at the opera this weekend, but that won’t stop cast members in the two operas from fraternizing. Daniela Mack and Alek Shrader, who are playing, respectively, the title role in “Carmen,” and  ...

Carmen, Santa Fe

The collision between grand opera and the iPhone is happening now; it’s just in places like Santa Fe that the wreckage is perhaps less noticeable. Does anyone still prefer a live orchestra, over-the-top theatrics, and $200 tickets to their Apps  ...

Summer with the Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s outdoor concert series at the Mann Center (pictured above) kicked off in grand style with British conductor (and droll wit) Bramwell Tovey conducting showpieces by Beethoven and Britten. Tovey, musical director of Vancouver Symphony and in  ...

Anya17, SF

Earlier this year a film called “Twelve Years a Slave” walked away with the Best Picture award at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes. The true story of a free American man of color who was kidnapped in Washington  ...

The Pearl Fishers, London

Penny Woolcock’s visually arresting “The Pearl Fishers” returns to the Coliseum in London in a revival of the 2010 English National Opera co-production with the Metropolitan Opera of New York. The original production was praised for its stunning effects  ...