CA,

Dido and Aeneas/Bluebeard’s Castle, LA Opera

Why pair Baroque "Dido and Aeneas" with Bartok's 20th century "Bluebeard's Castle"? According to program notes by director Barrie Kosky of the Komische Oper Berlin they have much in common. His most convincing argument is that they are "two operas  ...

Tosca, SF Opera

Take one good-looking couple, she a fantastic soprano and he a very good tenor, add a not-very-threatening villain, a heavy-handed conductor, mix well and bake for a little over two hours. What comes out of the oven is San Francisco  ...

The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord, LA

Put off by the weighty title of the Geffen's latest offering on its more innovative stage? Take it from me, there's no need to be. It is OK if you have forgotten all but the barest outline of your literature  ...

Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House, SF and Nashville

Most Americans don’t devote their lives and fortunes to shoring up their titled family’s 300-year old estate the way Lord David Cholmondeley, the current owner of the historic 4,000-acre, 106-room Houghton Hall in Norfolk, England does. So it was with  ...

Partenope, SF Opera

Near the end of Act I of this decidedly comic British production of “Partenope,” in its company premiere at San Francisco Opera, a breeze wafts through an open window, billowing the diaphanous curtain in seductive swirls. That undulating fabric is  ...

Swan Lake, Australian Ballet (U.S. West Coast tour)

Who says you can’t teach an old bird new tricks? Certainly not choreographer Graeme Murphy, who has taken the venerable “Swan Lake” and stood it on its head. The result is a gorgeous, sophisticated dance-fable that will satisfy all but  ...

Forever, LA

In lean times theater directors turn more frequently to one person performances and very small casts. For material, the "written-and-performed-bys" mine the depths of memory. It is so much the easier if the remembered are dead and will never see  ...

Un Ballo in Maschera, SF Opera

What better way to celebrate the birthday of Giuseppe Verdi than with his famous costume party? And so it was that I found myself on October 10 at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House raising a metaphorical glass to  ...

Joe Goode Performance Group

“He’s a good boy…Heeee zzza Goode boooboi…He’s a…” chants and slurs Melecio Estrella at the start of “29 Effeminate Gestures.” Estrella hits this angry mantra over and over as if it were a punching bag, until the sentence turns into  ...