Tag Archives: Opera San Jose

La Voix Humaine – Opera San JosÉ presents an emotional block-buster

The house lights dim.  We, the audience, grow quiet.  Concertmaster Cynthia Baehr stands to direct the final pitch-giving.  Conductor Bryan Nies makes his way through the orchestra to polite applause. Continue reading »

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Idomeneo – 12th Century BCE Greek Story – 18th Century Mozart Music – 21st Century American Staging

Although I had never seen or heard Idomeneo before, I knew I’d like it — I mean, it’s Mozart so what else do you need to know? Continue reading »

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La Bohème – Opera San JosÉ Produces a Winner

La Bohème is Puccini at his most tender and sympathetic. He loves these foolish young Parisians because he was once a struggling bohemian just like them. He understands their happiness and pain, and he is never judgmental. His music pierces our hearts with its beauty and directness. For generations, La Bohème has been the best first opera, the best date opera, and, for many, the best opera.”
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The Barber of Seville – Always delightful

How can anyone not like Rossini’s The Barber of Seville? The music is so light-hearted and tuneful, the good guys are so sweet and simple, the bad guys are so ridiculous you can’t hate them, the love story is so predictable, and the details of the plot are so absurd — what is there not to like? Continue reading »

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Tosca at Opera San Jose – The Ultimate Opera

No question about it.  As of this moment, Puccini’s Tosca is my favorite opera.  At its best it has everything you could ask for in an opera.  It has Floria Tosca, a beautiful devout heroine who commits murder.  It has Baron Scarpia, the very personification of evil.  It has Mario Cavaradossi who submits to torture rather than betray his friend.  It has spine-chilling climaxes to each of its three acts.  And it has Puccini’s music which is not only wonderful in its own right, but which perfectly fits the plot and the action.  Not a note is misplaced, not a note is extraneous, not a note is missing.  Tosca at its best is THE essential tragic opera. Continue reading »

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Anna Karenina -19th Century Russian Soul with 21st Century American Music

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The overture starts loud and dissonant with lots of percussion.  The first few measures invoke an image of a rushing railroad train.  There is no curtain but the stage is in almost total darkness.  The music continues.  The stage slowly begins to lighten.  Continue reading »

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La Rondine Review – Twice is Nice

San Francisco Splash Operanut is at it again; this time a weekend of one opera by two companies.  Continue reading »

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