Review: A “Faust” Surprise in Houston – January 23, 2007

The foul weather flags were flying along Galveston Bay, the Houston area’s Gulf of Mexico shoreline, when William Burden, the tenor scheduled to sing the title role in Houston Grand Opera’s production of Gounod’s “Faust” awoke to an inflamed throat. Throughout the day he consulted with his doctor, voice experts, and the opera’s management. It … Read more

The Devil’s Details Part II: Thoughts on Gounod’s “Faust”

Last year, the Wall Street Journal’s opera critic Heidi Waleson called Gounod’s “Faust” a “silly opera”, employing a phrase apparently designed to show her condescension to the task of reviewing the Met’s then new production. There was no accompanying essay explaining why Ms Waleson so characterized the venerable French opera. I have always looked forward … Read more

“Almost Famous”: THE THREE TENORS at San Francisco Opera 1967-1981

The Wall Street Journal published an unflattering essay (“A Hissy Fit Too Far”) about tenor Roberto Alagna’s recent unsuccessful appearance as Radames in La Scala’s Franco Zeffirelli production of Verdi’s “Aida”. The article, under the byline of Ian Brunskill, obituaries editor(!) of the Times of London, held forth the proposition that Alagna has been promoted … Read more