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

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

California Does Wagner – 2008

California’s three major opera companies are each mounting a Wagner work in the first half of 2008. Two of the companies, the Los Angeles and San Diego Operas, most likely by coincidence, are offering their Wagner productions simultaneously. Except for some performances of “Fliegende Hollaender” in venues of various sizes, the only scheduled performances of … Read more

In Quest of Donizetti – A 2007-08 Itinerary

Fifty years ago this Fall, an important event in the history of opera, previously chronicled on this website, took place at the San Francisco Opera. Turkish soprano Leyla Gencer, replacing Maria Callas, whom the San Francisco Opera fired, took on the first bel canto opera role of her career, the title role in Donizetti’s “Lucia … Read more