Review: Zajick is Victor in “Maid of Orleans” – San Francisco Opera, June 18, 2006

Dolora Zajick took no prisoners in a triumphant appearance as Joan of Arc in Tchaikovsky’s “The Maid of Orleans” in San Francisco’s three-opera summer season billed as the ” Return of the Divas”. (Zajick shared Summer Diva-dom with Ruth Ann Swenson, the Countess in Mozart’s “Nozze di Figaro”, and Patricia Racette, performing the title role … Read more

Review: The Italian Girl in D.C. – May 18, 2006

Rossini’s “L’Italiana in Algeri” had been a once a decade opera for me. I had seen five performances (two in the 1960s, one in the 1970s, one in the 1990s) the fifth being the Santa Fe production at San Francisco Opera, reviewed elsewhere on this website, with William Burden as Lindoro, the object of the … Read more

Historical Performances: “Madama Butterfly” with Kirsten, Campora, Quilico, Roggero – San Francisco Opera in San Diego, November 1, 1956

This is the fourth of ten observances of historic performances of the San Francisco Opera that I attended during the company’s annual tours of Southern California This year marks the 50th anniversary of my first performance of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”. The San Francisco Opera performance was held on the first of November at San Diego’s Fox … Read more

The Devil’s Details Part I – The Cox-Hockney ‘Rake’s Progress’

This two-part essay attempts to address four seemingly disparate issues. The first part celebrates a great interpretation of Stravinsky’s “Rake’s Progress” and begins a discussion of why that opera does not appear to be a candidate for the Standard Opera repertory, and certainly will never become an operatic “warhorse”. The second part will compare the … Read more

Historical Performances: “Cosi Fan Tutte” with Schwarzkopf, Rankin, Munsel, Lewis and Guarrera, San Francisco Opera in San Diego, October 25, 1956

This is the third of ten observances of historic performances of the San Francisco Opera that I attended during the company’s annual tours of Southern California Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” had never been performed in San Francisco Opera history until October 2, 1956. I saw my first performance of the work in the San Francisco … Read more