Review: Vargicova, Costello, Podles and Burdette Romp in Hilarious, Beautifully Sung “Fille du Regiment” – San Diego Opera, January 26, 2013

The San Diego Opera opened their four opera 2013 season by mounting Emilio Sagi’s immensely amusing production of Donizetti’s melody-filled “La Fille du Regiment”, time-shifted to the era of World War II. Premiering in Paris in 1840 (composed a generation before Gounod’s “Faust”), “La Fille” is the oldest 19th century French opera that can be said to have … Read more

Opera in Live Performance: Thoughts and Assessments at the End of 2012, Part Two

  Note from William: In Part One in my “end of 2012” comments [see Opera in Live Performance: Thoughts and Assessments at the End of 2012, Part One], I raised the issue of how poorly documented many past productions of opera are, so many lacking meaningful descriptions of the staging or even photographs of sets and costumes. … Read more

Review: A Florid, Flowing “Florencia” in Salt Lake City – Utah Opera, January 19, 2013

On a bitterly cold January evening, chilled Salt Lake City residents were invited to escape to a fantasy tropical river cruise, as Utah Opera presented Catan’s “Florencia en El Amazonas”. The work is a contemporary opera meant to be accessible to audiences, with lush orchestration and melodic themes, and an absorbing, ultimately surreal storyline. Inspired … Read more

Historical Perfomances: SPOT’s “Tales of Hoffmann” – San Francisco Opera, May 3, 1963

Note from William: This post continues my series of observances of the 50 year anniversaries of the historic performances that I attended at San Francisco Opera during the general directorship of Kurt Herbert Adler. This is the ¬†observance of a performance from the company‚Äôs 1963 Spring Opera Theater season. The origins of San Francisco Opera’s … Read more

Opera in Live Performance: Thoughts and Assessments at the End of 2012, Part One

Note from William: This happens to be the 500th post since this website was created in November, 2005, all of which are still accessible. Although that total includes contributions from my colleagues Thomas Rubbert and Arthur Bloomfield, with two or three other posts contributed by others, that figure includes 278 of my performance reviews – not … Read more