culturevulture.net – review

San Francisco Opera November 21-Dec 9, 2006 War Memorial Opera House San Francisco PRODUCTION Conductor: Sebastian Lang-Lessing / George Cleve* (11/25, 12/2, 12/8) Production: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle Stage Director: Laurie Feldman Santoliquido Set Designer: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle Original Lighting Designer: Thomas J. Munn Carmen may just be  ...

Boris Godunov, SFO- culturevulture.net – review

Opera in seven scenes by Modest Mussorgsky Libretto by Mussorgsky San Francisco Opera October 22-November 15, 2008 Vassily Sinaisky, conductor Julia Pevzner, director http://sfopera.com/o/268.asp If you’re going to have hordes of peasants in an opera, you have to give them something inspiring to sing and something interesting to do. In  ...

Turandot – Giacomo Puccini

Pavarotti's frequent performances of his signature aria, Nessun dorma, have made Turandot more popular than ever. The story of the conversion of an ice princess through the power of love, placed in ancient Peking, provides the essential elements for grand opera - passion, dramatic tension, an exotic locale. Puccini gifts  ...

The Tsar’s Bride – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Suggested reading: Reminiscences of Rimsky-Korsakov (1985), Vasilii Vasilevich Yastrebtsev The Literary Lorgnette: Attending Opera in Imperial Russia (2000), Julie A. Buckler Rimsky-Korsakov wrote a dozen or so full length operas, some of which remain popular at the Russian opera houses, but make only  ...

Tristan und Isolde – Richard Wagner

Seattle Opera took the kudos in 1998 for its production of Tristan und Isolde, gloriously cast with Ben Heppner and Jane Eaglen, who seem, by virtually unanimous worldwide critical acclaim, to be not only the ideal singers for these roles, but perhaps the only singers performing today fully capable  ...

Theodora – George Frideric Handel

Handel’s oratorios were not composed for the theatrical stage where, in England, religious dramas were forbidden until the 20th century. Bankrupted by his endeavors in the field of grand opera, Handel turned to religious works as a way to save money on costumes and sets while exploiting his gift  ...

A Streetcar Named Desire

Andre Previn's newly unveiled work, adapted from Tennessee Williams' great play, A Streetcar Named Desire has been lavished with as fine a cast as can be imagined, perfectly suitable sets and lighting, and Maestro Previn himself in the pit. Alas, we must confess, we were left unmoved - as  ...

Semele – Handel

What better sort of character to make the heroine of an opera? Semele was a Theban princess and the only mortal to be the parent of a god, that God none other than Dionysus/Bacchus, offspring of Semele's union with Zeus/Jupiter. Of course, Zeus' wife Hera/Juno was less than pleased  ...