Tom’s Review: San Francisco Opera’s “Appomattox” – An American “War and Peace”, October 14, 2007

William and I were both present at the October 14th matinee of the San Francisco Opera production of Philip Glass’ “Appomattox”, recounting the end of the American Civil War.  It was presented in the War Memorial Opera House, itself built to commemorate the end of World War I – the War to end all Wars. … Read more

Review: Australia Opera’s “Butterfly” Charms Pittsburgh – October 19, 2007

Those of us who spend most of our time in the Northern hemisphere may know very little about the work of operatic stage director Moffatt Oxenbould, most of it associated with the Opera Australia in Sydney. His most renowned production is of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”, which premiered at Opera Australia in 1997, and has been … Read more

Review: The Remaking of San Francisco Opera, Part I – Glass’ “Appomattox”, October 14, 2007

As a patron who has been attending performances of the San Francisco Opera for over half a century, and have been a subscriber for 48 consecutive seasons, I had expressed concern at the slow decline in the quality of performances at the War Memorial Opera House, beginning in the mid-1980s, which I felt accelerated in … Read more

Review: The Magic Scarfe – “Zauberflöte” at the San Francisco Opera, October 13, 2007

In the third week of October 2005 Pamela Rosenberg, still General Director of the San Francisco Opera, was minding the dress rehearsals for a borrowed physical production of Bellini’s “Norma” so tacky that Rosenberg, with the candor that might be her most likeable feature, told the San Francisco press that she wished she had had … Read more

San Francisco Opera 2007 Performance Reviews – Maintaining a Straight “A” Average

In mid-summer, acceding to requests that I get my reviews of San Francisco Opera performances out earlier in the performance cycle, and simultaneously to requests that I continue the longer analyses of each performance, I suggested that I would from time to time publish “snapshots” of my first reactions to each of the 2007 performances … Read more