Madame Butterfly, SF Opera

As a stunning curtain, decorated with modernistic kimonos, rises on an equally striking set, all light and platforms in primary colors, it seems that the new San Francisco production of “Madame Butterfly” is going to be about Jun Kaneko’s production  ...

La Traviata, SF Opera

“La Traviata,” that quintessential tale of a Parisian courtesan-with-a-heart-of-gold-except-she-dies-of-consumption-at-the-end, is one of Verdi’s most beautiful and beloved operas. That’s the first reason to go and see the revival at San Francisco Opera. The second is the production, originally directed by  ...

Show Boat, SF Opera

Y’all come on down to the levee folks. The “Show Boat” is in town and it’s a singin’, dancin’ romp. But is it an opera? Well, maybe more of an operetta, but who cares? In a spiffy production at San  ...

Thaïs, LA Opera

“Thaïs.” Does the name ring a bell? If you are not an opera aficionado, the likely answer is no, unless you happen to recall the haunting "Méditation from Thaïs." If so, you are on the right track. This late 19th-century  ...

Don Giovanni, Philadelphia

Opera Philadelphia director Nicholas Muni took a gamble last year at the Academy of Vocal Arts, setting Mozart’s "Cosi fan tutte" in the 1960s with soldiers deploying to Vietnam and interpreting the already couple-swapping libretto to the "make love, not  ...

Mahagonny Songspiel and Les Mamelles de Tirésias, SF

Just when you think it can’t get any better, amazingly it does. In its brief history Opera Parallèle, under the artistic direction of founder/conductor Nicole Paiement, has presented little-known contemporary works by Phillip Glass, Samuel Barber, John Harbison, Leonard Bernstein  ...

Curtis Symphony, Philadelphia

The musicians of the Curtis Symphony Orchestracapped off their current performance season in Verizon Hall April 13, with a concert dedicated to Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest, whose visionary philanthropy not only extends to the physical resources at the Curtis Institute,  ...

Lucia di Lammermoor, LA Opera

For a fully satisfying combination of classical music and contemporary theater, the current LA Opera production of "Lucia di Lammermoor" is not to be missed. I shamelessly like my opera grand with voices to die for, singers who can act,  ...

Leah Crocetto and David Lomelí in concert, SF

Opera fans, fear not. The future is here. If the recent recital by Leah Crocetto and David Lomelí is any indication, there should be no shortage of Mimis or Rodolfos, Butterflies or Pinkertons, once Domingo and Netrebko, Fleming  ...

Moby-Dick, Washington, DC

The Washington National Opera production of “Moby-Dick” is a crowd pleaser. Jake Heggie’s music is tonal, sometimes glancing off Puccini, but ventures out with touches of Philip Glass minimalism and other occasions of atonality that make it satisfyingly contemporary. Maestro  ...