Author Archives: philip

The Magic Flute Review – Pocket Opera is Magic

Mozart’s Magic Flute is probably his most complex opera, both musically and in terms of plot. Artistic director Donald Pippin and Stage Director Nicolas Aliaga have chosen to present a delightful entertainment which does full justice to the Continue reading »

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Madama Butterfly Review – Opera San Jose’s Provocative Take on Puccini’s Classic Favorite

There is only one possible word to describe Act I of the opera I saw on Sunday, February 16, 2014 – Beautiful. Never has Puccini’s gorgeous music been played with such delicate precision.  Continue reading »

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Elixir of Love Review – West Bay Opera produces another gem

It’s been a quiet couple of months on the opera scene in and near Palo Alto. Good thing for the Opera Nut, since I’m just back in circulation after a week in the hospital and another week under house arrest as I recuperated. Nothing serious, thank you, and I’m now fully recovered – in the nick of time, since I have just seen four different operas in five days!  Continue reading »

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GALA Review – West Bay Opera starts a tradition?

Sunday afternoon, December 7, 2013 Sara and I thoroughly enjoyed attending the very first West Bay Opera Gala, held at the Menlo-Atherton Center for the Performing Arts – also a first. In his introductory remarks, General Director José Luis Moscovich said that nowadays the third repetition of an event establishes a tradition, and he hoped that this was the first of those three. I heartily agree.  Continue reading »

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Hansel & Gretel Review – An Afternoon of Sheer Delight

I have a problem. How do I write a review of Opera San Jose’s production of Hansel & Gretel that expresses the utter joy that I felt Sunday afternoon November 17, 2013. Taking a slight liberty with the Rogers and Hammerstein song about Maria in The Sound of Music,  Continue reading »

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Barber of Seville SFOpera Review – Some new Twists on an old Favorite

There are some old favorites, such as Tosca in which the music, characters, and/or the plot are so complex that a skilled director can bring a new insight to the most jaded opera lover. Rossini’s The Barber of Seville is not one of these.   Continue reading »

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Irene Review – Revival of the 1919 hit Musical

So what does the Opera Nut do on November 1, 2013, when faced with a two-week vacation after seeing 6 operas (and reviewing 4 of them) in October?  Continue reading »

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Flying Dutchman SFOpera Review – Who says Wagner is Inaccessible?

In her pre-opera talk on October 28, 2013, Desirée Mays referred to The Flying Dutchman as Wagner-Lite. Since I regard “Lite Beer” as an abomination, I don’t entirely like her term – I’d rather call it Wagner-Accessible or Wagner-User-Friendly. The music is still powerful, but I walk away with a couple of actual melodies running through my head; whereas I walk away from a performance of The Ring thoroughly awed by the cumulative effect and a head full of motifs fighting for my attention.  Continue reading »

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Falstaff SFOpera Review – A first rate Treatment with a strong Bass

When you start with a plot by Shakespeare, music by Verdi, libretto by Boito, an orchestra conducted by Nicola Luisotti, and title role sung by Bryn Terfel, it is not surprising that the result is a wonderful evening of entertainment.  Continue reading »

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Eugene Onegin MetHD Review – Anna Netrebko IS Tatiana

Eugene Onegin by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
MetHD Live, October 5, 2013
MetHD Encore, October 9, 2013
Cinemark, Palo Alto, CA  Continue reading »

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