Category Archives: Opera Review

Falstaff OSJ Review – ‘Tis the Season to be Merry (Wives of Windsor, that is)

I’ve read the script a couple of times, but I’ve never seen a performance of Shakespeare’s play, The Merry Wives of Windsor. I did see Nicolai’s opera of that title this summer, but it’s been 12 years since I last saw Verdi’s masterpiece, Falstaff. That drought is being ended with a vengeance this fall. Yesterday, September 8, 2013, I saw Opera San José perform it, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again on the 15th with the other cast. Continue reading »

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The Merry Wives of Windsor Review – Pocket Opera’s Production Had Everyone Laughing

Sir John Falstaff is a fictional character who appears in three of Shakespeare’s plays: King Henry IV – Part OneKing Henry IV – Part Two, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. I don’t know about the historical plays, but Wikipedia lists 5 operas whose plot is based on the comedy:  Continue reading »

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Mary Magdalene Review – A Tender Reverent Setting for the Recently Discovered Gospel

For weeks I had been looking forward to the night of Saturday, June 23 2013 and the second performance ever of the world premier production of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene.  Continue reading »

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Così Fan Tutte Review – A big company takes on a small opera

Over the years I have seen Così Fan Tutte many times, and this is the third production for which I have written a review (read my previous reviews). I have seen it played as a light-hearted comedy. I have seen it played more darkly with Don Alfonso more of a villain playing with other people’s souls. I have seen Despina fully conniving with Don Alfonso’s schemes, and Continue reading »

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Tales of Hoffmann Review – San Francisco Opera does it differently

This is the seventh performance and the fourth different production of Tales of Hoffmann that I have seen during just the past year – and by far the most different. Since I have already written three reviews, I don’t want to repeat myself by talking about the plot. If you are not already familiar with the plot of a classic production, you may want to read my review of the Pocket Opera production before proceeding with this review. Continue reading »

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Otello Review – West Bay Opera does Moor with Less

Last night, May 23, 2013, West Bay Opera demonstrated again how a small opera company can present a big opera. Try as I may, I can’t think of anything negative to say about their production of Verdi’s Otello. But how do you begin to write a review when you want to rave about all aspects of the production? Continue reading »

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Two Handles on Handel – Orlando (Pocket Opera) and Giulio Cesare (MetHD)

Before I start my review, I want to make it clear where I am coming from. I like the music of George Frideric Handel but Continue reading »

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Orpheus Review – Pocket Opera Captures Essence of Offenbach’s Farce

Offenbach is one of Donald Pippin’s favorite opera composers, and Orpheus in the Underworld is one of his operas most often produced by Pocket Opera. Continue reading »

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Schicchi Review – Part Two of Opera San José’s double bill from Puccini’s Il Trittico

Twenty-minutes after the ethereal redemption that ended Suor Angelica I’m back in my seat applauding Maestro Joseph Marcheso as he makes his way to the podium. He well deserves the applause for the way he led the orchestra in perfect sync with the action and the singing through all the rapid swings of mood throughout the first opera. And with the crashing discords that begin the overture, we immediately know that the forthcoming mood will be drastically different from the emotional wringer we have just been through. Continue reading »

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Angelica Review – Part One of Opera San José’s double bill from Puccini’s Il Trittico

There is so much to say about the wonderful production that I saw on Sunday, April 14, 2013, that I am going to do it in two reviews. Here is my review of Suor Angelica; the review of Gianni Schicchi will appear shortly.  Continue reading »

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