Review: San Francisco Opera – A Center for “Rosenkavalier” Excellence: June 24, 2007

One of the late 20th century buzz-phrases still very much in 21st century currency is the “center for excellence” – applied to academic institutions, hospital services, aircraft design teams and any other human activity that can be done so exceedingly well that it is worthy of the attention of a wider community. I have not … Read more

Review: Night at the Museum – “Iphigénie en Tauride” Springs to Life at San Francisco Opera – June 17, 2007

Historical figures with as different a perspective on French revolutionary thought as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Marie Antoinette were in agreement that the French “reform operas” of the Chevalier Christoph Willibald Gluck set new standards in operatic performance. Gluck’s masterpiece among the eight French operas in the reform category is “Iphigénie en Tauride”, which premiered in … Read more

Review: Kwiecien Excels in McVicar’s Dark Side “Don Giovanni” – San Francisco Opera, June 2, 2007

San Francisco Opera up until now has seen little of Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien, who had appeared previously only as Marcello in the second cast of Puccini’s “La Boheme” in 2004.  Having established himself as one of the world’s pre-eminent interpreters of Mozart, he returned to San Francisco in the title role in a new … Read more

San Francisco Opera in 2007 – the Gockley Era’s A+ Beginning

In recent decades, the San Francisco Opera has organized its performance schedules to present seven or eight operas as a “Fall Season” from September to December (and occasionally January) and another three operas in repertory as a “Summer Season” centered in June. Although originally the Summer and Fall seasons were administratively separated (you could subscribe … Read more