Gockley’s San Francisco Opera in 2008 – A Straight “A” Average

For the third consecutive year of David Gockley’s San Francisco Opera General Directorship, I am summarizing my year’s performance reviews, having attended and reviewed at least one performance of each work mounted for the San Francisco Opera’s “main stage” at the War Memorial Opera House. Also, I am grading each performance attended, following the grading … Read more

Best Bet Revivals January through June 2009

Periodically, I cite productions that I regard as of more than routine interest, that are revivals of productions I have reviewed on this website. In each case listed below, the production is one I have seen performed at one opera company, that is scheduled to be performed at another. Obviously, this is not meant to … Read more

50 Years Ago: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s American Debut at San Francisco Opera

The “standard repertory” of opera is dominated by works created by citizens of four European countries – Italy, Germany, Austria and France. Many of the singers, conductors, set designers and stage directors associated with opera production are themselves from those four countries, although if you look at the world supply of operatic performers, there would … Read more

Interview with Kip Cranna, San Francisco Opera’s Director of Music Administration

In June 2008 Clifford (Kip) Cranna, Ph.D., San Francisco Opera’s Director of Music Administration, became the 35th person to be awarded the San Francisco Opera Medal, an honor created 38 years ago.  It was the first medal to be awarded since 2005, and thus the first of General Director David Gockley’s tenure. (A few days … Read more

Puccini’s 150th Birthday Party Takes Place as Firestorm Rages – Opera Santa Barbara, November 15, 2008

For months Opera Santa Barbara arranged a wonderful celebration of the 150th Birthday of the great Italian composer Giacomo Puccini in their gilded, opulent new operatic venue – The Granada Theatre. The celebration was to take place with superb wining, dining and Puccini’s great music, plus a very, very special guest – the composer’s granddaughter, … Read more