Review: Maestro Conlon Captains Another Successful Launch for Heggie’s “Moby Dick” – Los Angeles Opera – November 22, 2015

Jake Heggie’s 2010 opera “Moby Dick”, the most successful 21st century American opera to date, has added the Los Angeles Opera to the list of companies that have launched this tale of doomed men at sea. [Below: in a scene from “Moby Dick’s” second act, the whaling ship Rachel implores captain and crew of the Pequod for assistance in … Read more

Review: Meade, Barton, Thomas, Robinson Sing Beautifully in “Norma” – Los Angeles Opera, November 21, 2015

Los Angeles Opera assembled a cast of rising American stars for Vincenzo Bellini’s opera “Norma” that met and exceeded the opera’s bel canto imperative. Washington state soprano Angela Meade was cast as Norma, joined by Georgia mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as Adalgisa, Florida tenor Russell Thomas as Pollione and Georgia basso Morris Robinson as Oroveso, each artist chosen for an opera expressly created to exemplify … Read more

Review: McVicar’s Magical, Masterful “Meistersinger” – San Francisco Opera, November 18, 2015

For David Gockley’s final season as General Director of the San Francisco Opera, Sir David McVicar’s 2011 Glyndebourne Festival production of Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger” was mounted. Even for an opera company with a strong tradition of great Wagner performances, the McVicar “Meistersinger” was an extraordinary success. [Below: the unit set for David McVicar’s production of Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger”, here … Read more

Historical Performances: Jess Thomas’ Victorious “Die Meistersinger” – San Francisco Opera, September 11, 1965

Note from William: This post continues my series of observances of historic performances that I attended at San Francisco Opera during the general directorship of Kurt Herbert Adler. This is the first of sixteen such observances of performances from the company’s 1965 Fall season. The 1965 San Francisco Opera season opened Friday, September 10th with Giordano’s … Read more

Rising Stars: An Interview with René Barbera

The following interview took place at the War Memorial Opera House, home of the San Francisco Opera, where René Barbera is scheduled to perform the role of Count Almaviva in Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”. The facilitation of this interview by the San Francisco Opera is deeply appreciated.   [Below: Tenor René Barbera; resized image of a … Read more