In Quest of Operatic Masterpieces from the German and Czech Repertories – April- November, 2016

During 2016 I will be reviewing four less often performed operatic masterpieces from the German and Czech repertories. Siegfried (Wagner), Houston Grand Opera, April 16, 20, 23, 28 and May 1(m), 2016 Heldentenor Jay Hunter Morris is Siegfried and dramatic soprano Christine Goerke is Brünnhilde in the Fura del Baus production of the third opera of … Read more

Don Giovanni in Bohemia: How the Community of Prague Assured Mozart’s Last Four Operas

Note from William: In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the San Diego Opera, I will be re-printing program notes that the opera company commissioned me to write. The fifth of these, re-printed with the kind permission of the copyright holder, the San Diego Opera, appeared as the program notes for their February 2014 performances of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”.     … Read more

Essay: New Hope Valley as a Character in Carlisle Floyd’s Opera “Susannah”

In celebration of the San Francisco Opera’s new production of Carlisle Floyd’s “Susannah”, I am reposting an essay on the opera that was originally written as part of a review for an Opera Pacific performance. (For my review of the San Francisco Opera performance, see:  Review: Racette, Aceto, Jovanovich in Brilliant New Production of “Susannah” – … Read more

The Pollione-Norma Backstory: the Dramatic Logic of Bellini’s ‘Norma’

In anticipation of San Francisco Opera’s September 5, 2014 opening night of the 2014-15 season, in which a new Kevin Newbury production of Bellini’s “Norma” will be unveiled, I am reposting my essay of the dramatic logic of “Norma” that I originally posted on November 29, 2005, in concurrence with a previous production of “Norma”. … Read more