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 to write Její Pastorkyňa ("The Stepdaughter"), which inspired Janáček to  ...

Disgraced

Ayad Akhtar’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning play, “Disgraced,” has finally arrived in Los Angeles. It was the most produced play in America last season. Witty and timely it pulls no punches in the arena of American racial relations or the battleground called marriage and it entertains. Hard to beat.  ...

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 great Finnish soprano sings the role of Kostelnička, Jenůfa’s overprotective  ...

New Tate Modern

Tate Modern, housed in a former 1950s power station on the south bank of the river Thames has, since its opening in 2000, become a visual marker on the London skyline, along with the London Eye, the Gherkin and Big Ben. The much-anticipated extension to Tate Modern, called the Switch  ...

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 at some four and a half hours, making it very  ...

The Secret Garden

“The Secret Garden” is Frances Hodgson Burnett’s story of young heroine Anne Lennox who is orphaned in India after her parents die in a cholera epidemic and she becomes the reluctant charge of her Uncle Archie back in England. It is a story of loss, confusion, pathos and finally enchantment.  ...

Constellations

“Constellations," the new two-character play at Steppenwolf Theatre, is certainly a nonlinear story. Marianne (Jessie Fisher) and Roland (Jon Michael Hill) at times seem to be in parallel universes. She, an academic theoretical physicist, and he, a beekeeper. Their story, written by Nick Payne, is  ...