In Quest of Bizet’s “Pearl Fishers” – A 2008-09 Odyssey

The reign of Napoleon III proved to be an extraordinarily dynamic one for France, and especially, Paris, its capital city, even though the reign ended badly for Napoleon and Paris itself was roughed up a bit at the end. We especially remember the Second Empire for Paris’ architectural and transportation makeovers. But there is an operatic legacy … Read more

In Quest of Britten – A 2008-09 Itinerary

Several decades have passed since mid-20th century operas by Britten, Stravinsky, Poulenc and Floyd, among others, were composed.  Several of these works have a substantial performance history, with productions mounted at companies throughout the world.  At some opera houses, over the past several decades, there have been three or more new productions of at least one opera … Read more

The “Golden West” Does Puccini 2008-2010

Although the three major opera companies in California – San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera and San Diego Opera – frequently present works of the great Italian opera composer, Giacomo Puccini, one can expect special attention to his compositions as we approach the 150th anniversary of Puccini’s birth on December 22, 1858. In fact, between the productions … Read more

California Does “Cav” and “Pag”

There are a number of shorter operas that have been performed together as a single operatic evening (i.e., two operas for the price of one).  Puccini even wrote three operas (collectively known as “Il Trittico”) that he intended for performance on a single evening. We will highlight the “Trittico” when the Los Angeles Opera presents … Read more

In Quest of Exotic French Opera – 2008

This website has reviewed performances in the United States of two operas from, respectively,  France’s Second Empire and Third Republic –  Bizet’s “Les Pecheurs de Perles” and Saint-Saens’ “Samson et Dalila”.   Their stories  incorporate exotic and fantastic themes; the music that Bizet and Saint-Saens composed for these operas are as immersed in exoticism as the … Read more