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

Gaetano Donizetti: European Romanticism and The Pathway to Verdi

Note from William: In celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the San Diego Opera, I will be re-printing program notes that the opera company commissioned me to write. The third of these, re-printed with the kind permission of the copyright holder, the San Diego Opera, will be the program notes for their January 2013 performances of … Read more