Historical Performances: “Madama Butterfly” with Kirsten, Campora, Quilico, Roggero – San Francisco Opera in San Diego, November 1, 1956

This is the fourth of ten observances of historic performances of the San Francisco Opera that I attended during the company’s annual tours of Southern California This year marks the 50th anniversary of my first performance of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”. The San Francisco Opera performance was held on the first of November at San Diego’s Fox … Read more

The Devil’s Details Part I – The Cox-Hockney ‘Rake’s Progress’

This two-part essay attempts to address four seemingly disparate issues. The first part celebrates a great interpretation of Stravinsky’s “Rake’s Progress” and begins a discussion of why that opera does not appear to be a candidate for the Standard Opera repertory, and certainly will never become an operatic “warhorse”. The second part will compare the … Read more

Historical Performances: “Cosi Fan Tutte” with Schwarzkopf, Rankin, Munsel, Lewis and Guarrera, San Francisco Opera in San Diego, October 25, 1956

This is the third of ten observances of historic performances of the San Francisco Opera that I attended during the company’s annual tours of Southern California Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” had never been performed in San Francisco Opera history until October 2, 1956. I saw my first performance of the work in the San Francisco … Read more

2006-07 San Francissco Opera Season: the Gockley Era Begins

The ten productions and principal casts of the San Francisco Opera’s 2006-07 season were announced on January 12th, 2006 by newly installed San Francisco Opera general director David Gockley. An analysis of the prospective season, with my comments, is displayed here. [Below: General Director David Gockley; edited image of a publicity photograph.] Recognizing that most … Read more