DVD Review: Francesca Zambello, the American Musical and the San Francisco Opera, Part I: “Show Boat”

This DVD review of Jerome Kern’s and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Show Boat” is the first of two reviews of productions of classic American┬ámusicals performed by the San Francisco Opera. Each DVD is of a production conceived and staged by director Francesca Zambello. For the review review of George Gershwin’s and Dubose Heyward’s “Porgy and Bess” see: … Read more

Mounting the Big Shows: An Interview with Director Lee Blakeley

Lee Blakeley’s production of Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” is performed by the San Francisco Opera seven times during September, 2015. The following interview took place at the Santa Fe Opera, whose facilitation is deeply appreciated.   [Director Lee Blakeley; resized image of a Roy Tan photograph, courtesy of Lee Blakeley.] Wm: Please relate how you came to … Read more

Review: Searing Performances by Brian Mulligan and Stephanie Blythe for San Francisco Opera’s First “Sweeney Todd” – September 12, 2015

The San Francisco Opera mounted Lee Blakeley’s mammoth production of Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” with New York baritone Brian Mulligan in the title role and New York mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as Todd’s partner-in-crime, Mrs Lovett. Nothing surpasses the macabre merriment that exudes from a great “Sweeney” performance. Superb portrayals of Todd and Lovett by Mulligan and Blythe, … Read more

Review: Michael Fabiano’s Star Ascends in Verdi’s “Luisa Miller” – San Francisco Opera, September 11, 2015

The San Francisco Opera opened its 2015-16 season with a rousing revival of Verdi’s “Luisa Miller”. Famously a “tenor’s opera”, it is unabashedly a vehicle for the brilliant lyric tenor voice of Michael Fabiano, a rapidly rising star on the world’s operatic stages. Only the third tenor to appear in San Francisco as the opera’s hero Rodolfo (his … Read more