A Second Look Review: Pure Gold – San Francisco Opera’s “American Ring Rheingold” – June 22, 2008

Although I recently posted a review of San Francisco Opera’s June 14th performance of Wagner’s “Das Rheingold”, circumstances caused me to attend a second performance of this first opera in Francesca Zambello’s production of “Der Ring des Nibelungen”. My first review outlined my views on what I regarded as an extraordinarily high standard of singing. In the latter part of … Read more

Review: Delavan Shines in a Gleaming San Francisco “Rheingold” – June 14, 2008

San Francisco Opera’s mounting of the first opera in Francesca Zambello’s “American Ring” proved to be an extraordinary experience for admirers of the Wagnerian tetralogy.  It brought together all of the essential elements to meet the requirements of a world class Wagnerian performance.  The first element, and San Francisco Opera’s most striking achievement, is an almost uniformly … Read more

Review: Graham, Swenson, Prina Luminous in San Francisco Opera’s Stellar “Ariodante”, June 15, 2008

This is the 30th anniversary of San Francisco Opera’s first foray into the operas of George Frideric Handel. The San Francisco Handel productions, particularly those associated with British stage director John Copley, have often defined elegance in the performance of baroque opera, with lavish costumes and singing of the highest quality. [Below: Ariodante (Susan Graham) kneels … Read more

Review: Marta Domingo’s Reconceptualization of “Rondine” Returns to Los Angeles Opera – June 7, 2008

We are now well into the “Puccini Year” whose high point will be the observance of the 150th anniversary of Puccini’s birth on the 22nd of December. A consequence of the celebrations is a new appreciation for the hitherto less popular works of the Tuscan master. For example, there has been sufficient interest in his “La … Read more