The Pollione-Norma Backstory: the Dramatic Logic of Bellini’s ‘Norma’

In anticipation of San Francisco Opera’s September 5, 2014 opening night of the 2014-15 season, in which a new Kevin Newbury production of Bellini’s “Norma” will be unveiled, I am reposting my essay of the dramatic logic of “Norma” that I originally posted on November 29, 2005, in concurrence with a previous production of “Norma”. … Read more

In Quest of the “Da Ponte” Mozart Operas – October 2014-March 2015

This feature highlights selected performances of operas in Chicago, Houston, San Diego and Los Angeles that I am scheduled to review.   This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed from September, 2014 through Summer, 2015. The operas noted in the previous lists are Verdi’s “La Traviata” … Read more

Rising Stars: An Interview with Joyce El-Khoury

The following interview was conducted in on the “ranch” of the Santa Fe Opera, whose facilitation of this interview is gratefully acknowledged.   [Below: Soprano Joyce El-Khoury; resized image of a publicity photograph, courtesy of Joyce El-Khoury.] Wm: What were your earliest memories of music? JEK: I was born in Lebanon of Lebanese parents. My grandfather George … Read more

Rising Stars: An Interview with Christine Goerke

The following interview took place in the administrative offices of the Glimmerglass Festival, whose facilitation is deeply appreciated.   [Below: Dramatic soprano Christine Goerke; resized image of a publicity photograph, from] Wm: You were raised in Long Island, New York. What were your earliest musical experiences? CG: Well, there were no professional musicians in my … Read more

A Conversation with Director-Designer John Pascoe, Part 2

This post continues from A Conversation with Director-Designer John Pascoe, Part 1. John has generously permitted me to pursue a much more in-depth discussion of the factors that led and allowed him to pursue an international career in opera stage direction and production design. We have committed to posting an ongoing series of discussions on his career … Read more