The Magic Flute

Whoa, a credit for animation on an opera review? It must be a misprint. It is not? Really? Yup. The stage set is 99% a flat white wall with a few flush doors you might not notice at first.  Against this  ...

The Barber of Seville

Well honey, he can cut my hair anytime. Rossini’s Figaro, probably the most famous coiffeur in the world, is delightfully showcased in San Francisco Opera’s new production (with Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet) of “The Barber of Seville,” sparkling with  ...

Falstaff

"Falstaff" is an operatic bauble, easily dismissed as a bit of comedic fun, yet considered by some, such as conductor James Conlon, to be one of the two crowning achievements of Verdi's long career. But isn't comedy often undervalued? Rarely  ...

The Flying Dutchman

Just in time for Halloween comes a spooky ghost story from the legendary past. The best thing about this one is the beautiful music it’s set to. Richard Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman” (“Der fliegende Holländer” if you prefer it in  ...

Carmen, LA Opera

 Patricia Bardon and Brandon Jovanovich in LA Opera's "Carmen"Photo by Robert Millard Music by Georges BizetLibretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic HalévyDirected by Trevore RossConducted by Placido DomingoWith Patricia Bardon, Brandon Jovanovich, Pretty Yende, Ildebrando D’ArcangeloLA Opera, Dorothy Chandler  ...

Dolores Claiborne, SF Opera

Watching the new opera “Dolores Claiborne” is a little bit like going to a good movie. Like one of those Hitchcock films with a really fine score by Bernard Herrmann that underlines the action without being particularly notable  ...

Mephistopheles

Arrigo Boito’s “Mefistofele” one of the great operas? The Devil you say! The classic dichotomy of its subject, good and evil, angels and demons, is almost embodied in this opera, which has some lovely and lyrical music and much that  ...

The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, SF Opera

‘The Gospel of Mary Magdalene’ Music and libretto by Mark AdamoDirected by Kevin NewburyConducted by Michael ChristieSan Francisco Opera (world premiere)June 19-July 7, 2013 The good news is: Mark Adamo’s music is, if not notable,  ...

The Tales of Hoffmann, SF Opera

‘The Tales of Hoffmann’ By Jacques OffenbachLibretto by Jules Barbier and Michel CarréDirected by Laurent PellyConducted by Patrick FournillierSan Francisco OperaJune 5-July 6, 2013 The course of true love never did run smooth and, in the case of  ...

Trouble in Tahiti, Hand of Bridge, SF

‘Trouble in Tahiti’ Music and text by Leonard Bernstein ‘Hand of Bridge’ Music by Samuel Barber, text by Gian Carlo MenottiOpera ParallèleConducted by Nicole PaiementConceived and directed by Brian StaufenbielApril 26-28, 2013 Don Draper would have  ...