Grading Gockley’s First Year in S. F.

David Gockley assumed the general directorship of the San Francisco Opera in the middle of the 2005-06 season, when three operas were still do be performed in the 2006 “summer season”. This was earlier than originally announced, but his predecessor, the embattled Pamela Rosenberg, announced that she “missed her grandchildren in Germany” and would depart … Read more

Adler Fellow Eugene Brancoveanu: An Appreciation

[The following tribute to Adler Fellow Eugene Brancoveanu complements my review of the 2006 performances of the San Francisco Opera production of Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”.] Piano, pianissimo senza parlar The first words of “Barbiere” are sung by Almaviva’s henchman, Fiorello.  Before I get into the main body of the performance critique (see: Deconstructing S.F. Opera’s … 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

2006-07 SF Opera Season: the Gockley Era Begins

The ten productions and principal casts of the San Francisco Opera’s 2006-07 season were announced on January 12th, 2006 by newly installed San Francisco Opera general director David Gockley. An analysis of the prospective season, with my comments, is displayed here. [Below: General Director David Gockley; edited image of a publicity photograph.] Recognizing that most … Read more