Review: Family Matinee “Elixir of Love”at San Francisco Opera, November 8, 2008

San Francisco Opera, as part of its efforts to increase interest in live operatic performance among younger audiences, has developed the “family matinee”, which takes place at the opera house, utilizing the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus and the production sets from one of the main season operas. This year’s family matinee is Donizetti’s … Read more

In Quest of Donizetti – A Fall 2008 Update

This is the third post in an ongoing quest for productions of the operas of Gaetano Donizetti that has taken me to Donizetti’s home town of Bergamo in Lombardy for background, and, for performances, to Paris (for Laurent Pelly’s production of “L’Elixir d’Amour”) to Zurich (for “Don Pasquale”), to Houston (for “Fille du Regiment”), to … Read more

Review: Ramey at San Francisco Opera in Fascinating 1869 “Boris” Production – November 2, 2008

As a vehicle for veteran basso Samuel Ramey, San Francisco Opera mounted a production closely associated with him – the seven scene 1869 version of Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov”. Ramey was supported by memorable performances by the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, conducted by Vassily Sinaisky, in his debut season with the opera company, and the San … Read more

Christopher Hahn, New Pittsburgh Opera Chief, Reflects on Career in Opera Administration

Note from William: I recently traveled to Pittsburgh for opening night of the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Opera season, featuring the role debut of Stephanie Blythe in Saint-Saens’ “Samson et Dalila”. This provided an opportunity to interview the newly appointed general director of the Pittsburgh Opera, Christopher Hahn. [Below: Christopher Hahn, photograph courtesy of Pittsburgh Opera.] Wm: … Read more