The Fall of the House of Usher, SF Opera

An opera based on a Poe short story had its American premiere at the War Memorial Opera House recently. With great expectations it was born and, four performances later, mercifully it died. Whatever prompted San Francisco Opera to present Gordon  ...

L’ospedale

  Back in 2003, Naomi Matsumoto came across an edited score at the Marciana Library in Venice. It was a handwritten score, which seemed to have been written in the 17th century with no mention of a composer or  ...

Don Giovanni

The Academy of Vocal Arts’ mounts Mozart’s "Don Giovanni" every few years and it always seems to show them at their best. Their 2011 production, directed by the Tito Capobianco, and had the lusty Don Giovanni, in flagrante delicate all  ...

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, SF Opera

I don’t know why, but every time I hear the four mighty chords that begin Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger,” tears come to my eyes. Perhaps it’s the sheer grandeur of this music. But this is not the grandeur of the gods  ...

The Magic Flute, SF Opera

To the many interpretations of “The Magic Flute,” San Francisco Opera has added one with the distinction of looking like an animated cartoon. The company’s current production, which debuted in 2012, appears by turns Disney, Looney Tunes, and Hanna-Barbera; it  ...

La bohème

Australian director Benedict Andrews has a new production of La bohème  currently showing at the ENO which adds a controversial twist to the original Puccini opera. Oftentimes when the word "contemporary" is slammed together with words like "new production" audiences  ...

Lucia di Lammermoor, SF Opera

Sometimes you gotta take the good with the bad, and San Francisco Opera’s new production of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” has plenty of both. First the good news: the singing is pretty terrific and that’s what opera is  ...

Barber of Seville

  The second production of the ENO’s new season, shown on the same week as "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk," is Jonathan Miller's twelve revival of "The Barber of Seville." It is Rossini’s most celebrated comic opera based on the play  ...

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

The ENO began its 2015/16 opening season with Shostakovich’s ‘tragic – satire opera’ Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (1934) which caused Stalin to walk out during a performance and led to a scathing review in Russia’s political newspaper Pravda. Directed by  ...