A Second Look Review: “Don Carlo” at the San Francisco Opera, June 18, 2016

In my review of the opening performance of San Francisco Opera’s 2016 mounting of Verdi’s “Don Carlo” [see Review: A Legendary Performance of “Don Carlo” at the San Francisco Opera, June 12, 2016], I had praised the cast, conductor and orchestra, suggesting it was one of the most deeply cast and moving performances of the work … Read more

Review: A Beautifully Performed “Jenufa” by Byström, Mattila and Burden, San Francisco Opera, June 19, 2016

As the last production overseen by the San Francisco Opera’s retiring General Director David Gockley, the company mounted Czech composer Leoš Janácek’s lushly melodic, highly dramatic, masterpiece “Jenufa”. Malin Byström’s Jenufa Swedish soprano Malin Byström, in her San Francisco Opera debut role, was a moving Jenufa. She gave an affecting vocal performance, displaying mastery of the high tessitura of … Read more

Review: A Legendary Performance of “Don Carlo” at the San Francisco Opera, June 12, 2016

Experienced San Francisco Opera subscribers know when they’ve seen a performance so superb that it will be long-remembered. Such a performance was the lavishly cast production of Verdi’s “Don Carlo”, in which every member of a stellar ensemble contributed to an opera that deserved to be called “grand”. Michael Fabiano’s Don Carlo The opera’s title role was assumed by tenor … Read more

Review: Tchaikovsky’s “Iolanta” – A Burgundian-Themed Opera at the Opéra de Lyon, May 20, 2016

Tchaikovsky’s final opera, the luxuriously melodic “Iolanta”, was presented at the Opéra de Lyon as the first half of a Peter Sellars-directed double bill, that was followed by Stravinsky’s “Perséphone” Ekaterina Scherbachenko as Iolanta The “Iolanta” title role was assumed by the Russian lyric soprano Ekaterina Scherbachenko, whose soft, pleasant vibrato was enlisted for a beautifully conceived portrayal of … Read more

In Quest of Less-Often Performed Core Repertory Operas – June-September, 2016

In recent years, live performances of some important operas of the “standard repertory” have become rarer. I am scheduled to review four such operas, each with major international casts, in San Francisco and Santa Fe.   Don Carlo (Verdi), San Francisco Opera, June 12(m), 15, 18, 21, 24 and 29, 2016. An illustrious cast has been … Read more