World Premiere Run Review: Powerful Performances from Mark Stone and Kangmin Justin Kim in Ruo’s and Hwang’s Compelling “M. Butterfly”- Santa Fe Opera, August 3, 2022

I am reporting on the second of five scheduled performances in the world premiere run of composer Huang Ruo’s and librettist David Henry Hwang’s opera “M. Butterfly”, based on Hwang’s 1988 Tony-award winning play of the same name. Both play and opera were inspired by the notoriety surroundng the sexual relationship of a man working … Read more

Review: Strong Vocal Performances by Isabel Leonard, Michael Fabiano, Sylvia d’Eramo and Michael Sumuel for Director Miriame Clement’s Idiosyncratic Production -“Carmen”, Santa Fe Opera, August 2, 2022

The Santa Fe Opera’s first August performance of the new Mariame Clément production of Bizet’s “Carmen”, which opened the 2022 season a month prior, introduced a cast change as Don Jose. Joining a cast that included Isabel Leonard as Carmen, Sylvia d’Eramo as Micaela and Michael Sumuel as Escamillo, New Jersey tenor Michael Fabiano took … Read more

An Opera Director’s Historical Perspective: A Conversation with Grischa Asagaroff, Part 2

This is the second part of a series of conversations with German director Grischa Asagaroff [See An Opera Director’s Historical Perspective: A Conversation with Grischa Asagaroff, Part 1]. It continues with a discussion of his work at the San Francisco Opera between the company’s 1980 and 1983 seasons and his close association with the productions … Read more

Review: A Pleasing Revival of “Dream of the Red Chamber” at San Francisco Opera, June 14, 2022

In my world premiere review [World Premiere Review: “The Dream of the Red Chamber” Transforms into a Fascinating Opera – San Francisco Opera, September 10, 2016], I expressed my assessment of this opera and the extrordinary accomplishement of composer Bright Sheng and his co-librettist David Henry Hwang in extracting an opera out of the first … Read more

Review: Dupuis and Pisaroni Lead International Cast for Michael Cavanagh’s New “Don Giovanni” Production – San Francisco Opera, June 12, 2022

I attended a Sunday matinee performance of the third permutation of Michael Cavanagh’s interrelated productions of Mozart’s three da Ponte operas. My reviews of the Cavanagh conceptualizations of “The Marriage of Figaro” [Review: Strong Cast, Arresting New Production for “Marriage of Figaro” – San Francisco Opera, October 13, 2019] and “Cosi fan Tutte” [Review: “Cosi … Read more