Best Bet Revivals of “World Class” Operatic Productions – 2008-09

This website has reviewed productions that are scheduled for performance (in each of the cases listed below) at other opera houses.  Our reviews gave high marks to these productions and strongly recommends each for the consideration of opera goers with an opportunity to see them.  Our reviews of each of these productions are cited. Simon Boccanegra (Verdi), San Francisco Opera, September 5, 9, 12, 17, 21, 24 … Read more

A Year in the Life of an San Francisco Opera Chorister – An Interview with Frederick Matthews

In December 2007, joining members of my family and my Opera Warhorses colleague, Tom, I attended one of the annual Christmastide Bracebridge Dinners at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.  As it turned out,  several of the San Francisco Opera choristers were spending the latter half of December in Yosemite, as performers for the … Read more

Review: Superlative – Original 1951 “Billy Budd” Catches the Santa Fe Opera Wind, August 14, 2008

Santa Fe Opera, now well into its second half-century, finally has chosen to include Britten’s 57 year old opera, “Billy Budd”, into its repertoire. Although it is hardly appropriate to say it was worth the wait for the first presentation of an opera that many other opera companies have presented several times, there are features about … Read more

Review: Kwiecien, Pisaroni Lead Youthful “Figaro” Ensemble in Santa Fe – August 13, 2008

Santa Fe Opera’s retiring General Director Richard Gaddes, and his predecessor, the late John Crosby, deserved their reputations for identifying operatic singers who are in early career and yet have the vocal and histrionic abilities predictive of international success. Among the Santa Fe “apprentice singers” who achieved such success are Sherrill Milnes, James Morris, Neil … Read more

In Quest of Bizet’s “Pearl Fishers” – A 2008-09 Odyssey

The reign of Napoleon III proved to be an extraordinarily dynamic one for France, and especially, Paris, its capital city, even though the reign ended badly for Napoleon and Paris itself was roughed up a bit at the end. We especially remember the Second Empire for Paris’ architectural and transportation makeovers. But there is an operatic legacy … Read more