Tag Archives: San Francisco Opera

Moby Dick Review – Thrilling Interpretation of a Classic American Novel

How do you start with an 800-page book that has stood the test of time and create a three-hour opera from it?  Here are a couple of quotes from Composer Jake Heggie’s fascinating article in the program:  Continue reading »

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Capulets and Montagues Review – Shakespeare It Ain’t

I had seen Shakespeare’s play; I had seen Gonoud’s opera a couple of times; I had seen many, many performances of Prokofiev’s ballet.  But at the San Francisco Opera on October 3, 2012, I saw I Capuleti e i Montecchi, an 1830 opera by Vincenzo Bellini, for the first time.  And from the first few notes of the overture, I knew I was about to see a story different from the one told by S, G, and P.  Continue reading »

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Rigoletto Review – SF Opera’s Stunning Setting of Verdi’s Masterpiece

It is 8:00 PM, on Saturday, September 7, 2012.  Last night San Francisco Opera opened its 89th season with Verdi’s Rigoletto.  However, tonight will be “opening night” for the three principal members of the cast –Albina Shagimuratova (Gilda), Marco Vratogna (Rigoletto), and Francesco Demuro (The Duke of Mantua), since the company is splitting the 12 September performances between two casts.  Continue reading »

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Nixon in China SFOpera Review – John Adams’ first opera

The lights dim. Applause begins near the front of the theatre and rapidly spreads. Conductor Lawrence Renes must be approaching the podium.  Sure enough, a distant head is glimpsed from our side seats in row T as he mounts and bows to the audience. All is quiet as he turns to the orchestra and raises his arms.  Continue reading »

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Magic Flute SFOpera Review – A 21st Century Production that Works

Let me begin by quoting extensively from the note by Director Harry Silverstein which appeared in the program Continue reading »

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Attila SFOpera Review – Not Verdi’s best, but the music was beautiful

Any way you look at it, Attila is not your usual opera.  Continue reading »

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Carmen SF Opera – America’s favorite opera

They say that in the United States no opera is performed more often than Georges Bizet’s Carmen.  I can easily believe that.  Continue reading »

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Xerxes – SF Opera’s Handle on Handel

George Frideric Handel wrote lots of truly inspired music including more than 40 operas.  He visualized complex characters and put them into interesting situations.  But when he came up with names for these characters, he had trouble getting as far as “B” in the alphabet.  Continue reading »

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Don Giovanni SF Opera – First of Four Productions this Season

The Opera season 2011-12 could well be called “The Year of the Don”.  In the space of four months I am planning to see four different productions of Mozart’s masterpiece – two live stage performances and two on HD:  Continue reading »

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Lucrezia Borgia – San Francisco Opera presents one of Donizetti’s less well known bel canto operas

Last night I saw the SFO’s production of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia with Renée Fleming. As I sat through the performance, I had an unfocussed memory that I had seen it before. It turns out that Pocket Opera did it back in 1997. Continue reading »

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