Historical Performances: “Queen of Spades” with McCracken, Kirsten, Resnik – San Francisco Opera, October 5, 1963

Two nights after my first live performance ever of Puccini’s “Tosca”, I returned to my regular Saturday night series for the fourth offering of the San Francisco Opera’s 1963 Saturday night series – Tchaikovsky’s “Queen of Spades”. Only the second Russian opera (after Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov” that I had seen presented by the San Francisco … Read more

Sweet Melody: Gounod’s “Faust”, “Roméo and Juliet” and the Théâtre Lyrique

Note from William: In celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the San Diego Opera, I will be re-printing program notes that the opera company commissioned me to write. The first of these, re-printed with the kind permission of the copyright holder, the San Diego Opera, will be the program notes for their March 2010 performances … Read more

Historical Performances: Leontyne Price, Konya, Shaw in “Tosca” – San Francisco Opera, October 3, 1963

On October 3, 1963, I attended my first performance ever of Puccini’s “Tosca” at the San Francisco Opera, in which Leontyne Price appeared in the title role, with Hungarian tenor Sandor Konya as Cavaradossi and Australian baritone John Shaw as Scarpia. Twelve days earlier I had seen Price, Konya and Shaw in Verdi’s “Aida” [See 50 … Read more