Jenůfa

Despite how musically rich and sensitive Janáček’s opera Jenůfa is, its grotesque storyline, which includes the murdering of a child, is not. It captures a sample of small-town life in Moravian Slovakia during the mid-1850s, which first influenced Gabriela Preissová  ...

Jenůfa, SF Opera

The last time I saw Karita Mattila in “Jenůfa” she played the title role, a young village girl madly in love with the town ne’er-do-well and secretly carrying his child to boot. Now, her gleaming voice burnished with maturity, the  ...

Don Carlo, SF Opera

The trouble with Verdi’s “Don Carlo” always has been — like much of Wagner — too much of a good thing. Requiring no fewer than six stellar singers in the leads, making it very costly to mount, it clocks in  ...

The Dark Mirror, by Hans Zender

First, I must admit that I am more familiar with Schubert's "Wintereisse" through the voice of Ian Bostridge, but sung 'straight' with nothing else but a piano to accompany the tenor. Last year, I was completely absorbed by  ...

Robert Schwartz, Solo Piano

Solo piano recitals aren't that frequent even in a fairly sophisticated town like San Francisco. Sure, we have them at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and high profile international pianists presented by SF Performances. But the only real venue  ...

Elixir of Love

Opera Philadelphia closed their 2015-16 season with a new production of Donizetti’s "The Elixir of Love," an unwavering favorite with audiences, despite its more vaporous musical merits. Conductor Corrado Rovaris commented in the program notes that musically, the  ...

The Lighthouse

Most operas begin with an overture. Peter Maxwell Davies’ “The Lighthouse” opens with an interrogation, a police investigation surrounding the mysterious disappearance of three lighthouse-keepers stuck for months on a lonely rock in the middle of a stormy  ...

What Happened To The Music?

To cope with internet overload, we allow algorithms to sift through and feed us bits and pieces to match our tastes or cosmetically enhanced anchormen (and anchorwomen) to spoon up headlines to the tune of tone-deaf sponsors. All this through  ...