A Second Look Review: Luisotti Improvises in “Turandot” Game Delay, then Hits a Grand Slam – San Francisco Opera, September 25, 2011

Already this year, I have posted two previous reviews of performances of the esteemed David Hockney production of Puccini’s “Turandot”. The production incorporates the Hockney’s set designs with the wondrous costumes designed by his one-time collaborator, Ian Falconer. The production provided the opening night festivities for the opening nights of  both the San Diego Opera’s … Read more

Arthur Bloomfield’s Blazing Batons: Visiting the Great Berlin Maestro Leo Blech (1871-1958)

A proper headline for this essay, and a banner one too, should proclaim: LEO BLECH GREAT VERDI CONDUCTOR. One rather expects a German with excellent Berlin credentials — and a crisp little name, by the way, that means “tin,” but Blech had no tin ear — to be the genius he was with Wagner. But the grace, drama … Read more

Review: Fleming, Fabiano, Frizza Fuel San Francisco Opera’s Flaming, Fulfilling First “Lucrezia Borgia” – September 23, 2011

As the vehicle for her return to the San Francisco Opera after a decade’s absence, Renee Fleming introduced California audiences to an opera and production that she has championed, the John Pascoe production of Donizetti’s “Lucrezia Borgia”. The Fleming-Pascoe collaboration on Donizetti’s influential masterpiece – a milestone in Italian opera – is clearly a labor … Read more

Living the Seine to Santa Fe Circuit: An Interview with Frederic Chaslin

The following interview was conducted at the Santa Fe Opera “ranch” in August, 2011. The facilitation of this interview by the Santa Fe Opera is very much appreciated. [Below: Conductor and Santa Fe Opera Music Director Frederic Chaslin.] Wm: You were born in Paris. What were the influences that led you into a career with … Read more