Review: Jake Heggie’s Revised “It’s a Wonderful Life” – San Francisco Opera. November 25, 2018

I attended the fourth of nine scheduled War Memorial Opera House performances of Jake Heggie’s opera “It’s a Wonderful Life”, an adaptation, by Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, of Frank Capra’s 1946 postwar movie of the same name. Previously, I had reported on the opera’s world premiere [see World Premiere Review: Jake Heggie’s Celestial Transformation of … Read more

Review: Back Home for “Bohème” – Houston Grand Opera, November 10, 2018

The Houston Grand Opera spent its entire 2017-18 season in a section of the George R. Brown Convention Center, while its opera house was being repaired from the destruction of Hurricane Harvey. While saving the company’s season, the convention center provisions for producing opera were understandably suboptimal. Puccini’s “La Bohème” was the second opera offered, since … Read more

Review: Explosive Ovations for Chicago’s Spectacular New “Siegfried” – Lyric Opera, November 3, 2018

Since 2016, Lyric Opera each season has premiered an opera a year of David Pountney’s new production of Wagner’s four opera “Ring of the Nibelungs”. Pountney’s new staging of “Siegfried” proved to be one of the most rewarding operatic evenings I have attended. Originally conceptualized by the late German designer Johan Engels, Pountney’s realization of … Read more

Review: Matthew Polenzani Stars in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle “World Treasure” Production of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” – Lyric Opera, Chicago, November 2, 2018

Lyric Opera reverentially mounted Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s 47-year old production of Mozart’s masterpiece “Idomeneo”. Originally conceived for the Cologne Opera (1971), Ponnelle’s beautiful production, that I regard as a “world treasure”, subsequently introduced audiences in San Francisco and New York City to Mozart’s masterpiece. [Below: The God Neptune has washed the living survivors of the storm … Read more