Review: Night at the Museum – “Iphigénie en Tauride” Springs to Life at San Francisco Opera – June 17, 2007

Historical figures with as different a perspective on French revolutionary thought as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Marie Antoinette were in agreement that the French “reform operas” of the Chevalier Christoph Willibald Gluck set new standards in operatic performance. Gluck’s masterpiece among the eight French operas in the reform category is “Iphigénie en Tauride”, which premiered in … Read more

Review: Kwiecien Excels in McVicar’s Dark Side “Don Giovanni” – San Francisco Opera, June 2, 2007

San Francisco Opera up until now has seen little of Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien, who had appeared previously only as Marcello in the second cast of Puccini’s “La Boheme” in 2004.  Having established himself as one of the world’s pre-eminent interpreters of Mozart, he returned to San Francisco in the title role in a new … Read more

Review: Humanizing “Wozzeck”- Hawlata, McAnuff, Brill Create a San Diego Opera Masterpiece, April 17, 2007

Is it possible for a bi-coastal American creative team, centered in the San Diego opera and theatre communities and New York City’s Broadway theatre district, to mount a production of Alban Berg’s opera “Wozzeck” so revelatory that it may change the way the public thinks about that opera? Is it possible that such a team … Read more

Review: Nicely Done “Il Trovatore” in Verdi-Friendly San Diego – April 4, 2007

Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”, one of the great masterpieces of Italian opera, has, from its triumphant premiere 155 years ago, always been popular with the opera-going public, even as generations of detractors have developed their talking points on why we must not love the opera so much. We have always been told this opera’s plot is … Read more

Review: Zambello’s Dazzling American Ring ”Walküre” at Kennedy Center – Washington National Opera, March 28, 2007

Washington National Opera’s second installment of its new production of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (co-produced with the San Francisco Opera) debuted at the Kennedy Center in late March. I attended its second performance. Circumstances had prevented me from attending the WNO production of its prequel opera “Das Rheingold” in 2006, where the Rhinemaidens are … Read more