January and February 2012: Best Bet Live Opera Productions in L. A. and San Diego

An ongoing feature of this website is the “Best Bet Revivals” series. When one opera company mounts a physical production of an opera that has been favorably praised by this website, and offers it with a cast of singers who are comparable (at least) to those seen previously, then we alert potential opera goers to … Read more

Donizetti and Early Verdi in the American West, January-June, 2012

I suppose it is still taught in “opera appreciation” classes, that in the early 19th century Italy there were three composers (Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti), who constituted a bel canto “school” of opera. Later in the century, it is taught, Giuseppe Verdi and after him Giacomo Puccini replaced them in the Italian public’s and The … Read more

Arthur Bloomfield’s Blazing Batons: Looking In On Robert Heger 1886-1978

A famous recording I grew up with in the 40s was the 1933 abridged Der Rosenkavalier with that manic maestro Otto Klemperer’s onetime girlfriend Elisabeth Schumann, his maybe-almost-girlfriend Lotte Lehmann and the apparently unpursued Maria Olczewska, all under the baton of Robert Heger, not exactly a household name in the annals of conducting and one … Read more

Opera in Live Performance, Thoughts and Assessments at the End of 2011, Part One

This Thoughts and Assessments Feature dates from the end of 2009, in which I add some thoughts outside of such other posts as my live performance reviews, my memorializations of the 50 year anniversaries of performances I attended, and my interviews with artists who sing, play, conduct, stage, design or write operas. Each year, I … Read more