Interview with Kip Cranna, S. F. Opera’s Director of Music Administration

In June 2008 Clifford (Kip) Cranna, Ph.D., San Francisco Opera’s Director of Music Administration, became the 35th person to be awarded the San Francisco Opera Medal, an honor created 38 years ago.  It was the first medal to be awarded since 2005, and thus the first of General Director David Gockley’s tenure. (A few days … Read more

Christopher Hahn, New Pittsburgh Opera Chief, Reflects on Career in Opera Administration

Note from William: I recently traveled to Pittsburgh for opening night of the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Opera season, featuring the role debut of Stephanie Blythe in Saint-Saens’ “Samson et Dalila”. This provided an opportunity to interview the newly appointed general director of the Pittsburgh Opera, Christopher Hahn. [Below: Christopher Hahn, photograph courtesy of Pittsburgh Opera.] Wm: … Read more

A Year in the Life of an S. F. Opera Chorister – An Interview with Frederick Matthews

In December 2007, joining members of my family and my Opera Warhorses colleague, Tom, I attended one of the annual Christmastide Bracebridge Dinners at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.  As it turned out,  several of the San Francisco Opera choristers were spending the latter half of December in Yosemite, as performers for the … Read more

Interviewing Conductor Antony Walker on Undervalued Masterpieces – and His Unexpected Celebrity

Last October, I was impressed by the insightful conducting of Pittsburgh Opera’s musical director, Antony Walker, whose work complemented the extraordinary Moffatt Oxenbould production of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” from Opera Australia. Having returned to the Pittsburgh to review its mounting of Bellini’s “I Capuleti e i Montecchi”, also to be conducted by Walker, I had … Read more

Conversation with Dr. Peter Lee on the origin of the Term “Opera Warhorse”

The following conversation. discussing the new “operawarhorses.com” website took place between myself and Peter V. Lee, MD of the University of Southern California. November, 2005 PVL: “Bill, It’s a great start. . . .  Did you realize that “warhorse” in this sense [an often-performed opera] was first used only in 1947, by Alfred Einstein, in Music … Read more