Review: Aural Splendor Permeates Composer Mason Bates’ Revised “(R)evolution of Steve Jobs” – San Francisco Opera, September 24, 2023

San Francisco Opera’s home, the War Memorial Opera House, is a hospitable venue for the walls of sound that emanate from the richly orchestrated works of Wagner, Puccini and Richard Strauss. It proved equally hospitable to the extraordinary operatic heavy metal sound created by the technologically-savvy composer Mason Bates. The composer’s electronic instrumentation proved a … Read more

Review: Luke Sutliff, Replacing Injured Rolando Villazón, Triumphs in Opening Night of Monteverdi’s “Orfeo” – Santa Fe Opera, July 29, 2023

The fifth opera to be offered in Santa Fe Opera’s 2023 season, Monteverdi’s “Orfeo”, dating from 1607, is the oldest opera holding a space in the international performance repertory. Never before performed by the company, a new production was designed by director Yuval Sharon and new orchestration was created by contemporary composer Nico Muhly. The … Read more

Review: Passionately Sung, “Pelléas et Mélisande” in Netia Jones’ Attractive, Introspective Production – Santa Fe Opera, July 28, 2023

The Santa Fe Opera, for the third time in its history (the first and second being 51 and 46 years ago) performed Debussy’s operatic masterpiece, “Pelléas et Mélisande”, in a new production created by British director Netia Jones. Jones’ attractive production, incorporating an absorbing lighting design by Canadian designer D. M. Wood, explores the contemporary … Read more

Review: Ailyn Perez Leads Vocally Splendid Cast in Pountney’s Alternative Vision of “Rusalka” – Santa Fe Opera, July 26, 2023

I am reporting on the second performance of the Santa Fe Opera’s first mounting of Dvorak’s “Rusalka” in its history. It is a new production from British-Polish director Sir David Pountney. Although Santa Fe Opera’s production is new, it incorporates the main elements of Pountney’s 1983 “Rusalka”, created when Pountney was English National Opera’s newly … Read more