Puccini, Daniels, Yeargan and Racette Team for Masterful S. F. Butterfly – June 18, 2006

Giacomo Puccini, who had no fluency in English, was drawn to the stage business, sets and avant-garde lighting in two of David Belasco’s Broadway plays – “Madam Butterfly” and “The Girl of the Golden West”. Although the plays, whose dialogue is impossibly out of step with 21st century sensibilities, are irrevocably sows ears as plays … Read more

Review: Zajick is Victor in S. F. Opera “Maid of Orleans” – June 18, 2006

Dolora Zajick took no prisoners in a triumphant appearance as Joan of Arc in Tchaikovsky’s “The Maid of Orleans” in San Francisco’s three-opera summer season billed as the ” Return of the Divas”. (Zajick shared Summer Diva-dom with Ruth Ann Swenson, the Countess in Mozart’s “Nozze di Figaro”, and Patricia Racette, performing the title role … Read more

Review: The Italian Girl in D.C. – May 18, 2006

Rossini’s “L’Italiana in Algeri” had been a once a decade opera for me. I had seen five performances (two in the 1960s, one in the 1970s, one in the 1990s) the fifth being the Santa Fe production at San Francisco Opera, reviewed elsewhere on this website, with William Burden as Lindoro, the object of the … Read more

Domingo is the Redeemer of L.A.’s spellbound “Parsifal”: December 8, 2005

64 year old Placido Domingo demonstrated to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion audience that Wagner, sung beautifully, is magical. His incredible voice, its legato still intact, brought to his Parsifal the sensitivity and dramatic expressiveness that I vividly recall from seeing him perform, among other roles, Don Jose in “Carmen” and Cavaradossi in “Tosca” in his … Read more

General Director Pamela Rosenberg’s “Fidelio” Finale, San Francisco Opera, November 27, 2005

The final performance of Beethoven’s “Fidelio” was also General Director’s Pamela Rosenberg’s last performance as San Francisco Opera’s fourth General Director. Circumstances (not all of which likely are known to the general public) resulted in her tenure being the shortest in San Francisco Opera’s 82 year history. She was presented with a giant bouquet of … Read more