Review: World Class “Manon Lescaut” – San Francisco Opera, November 19, 2006

Donald Runnicles’ first performance of Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” in San Francisco, was his fifth Puccini work among 54 different operas he has conducted for the company. Originally scheduled in a different (and almost certainly less traditional) production by former General Director Pamela Rosenberg, it represented current Director David Gockley’s fifth change in the fall season … Read more

Review: Deconstructing San Francisco Opera’s Super-sized “Barber” – November 12, 2006

Previously, this website has suggested that, as the footprints of former San Francisco Opera General Director Pamela Rosenberg are washed away over time, the only souvenir of her controversial stewardship may be the world’s largest production of Rossini’s “Barbiere di Siviglia” ever conceived.  Would that this souvenir never existed, and that some spectacular souvenir productions from the … Read more

Review: Hvorostovsky, Guryakova, Berti Excel in Houston Grand Opera “Simon Boccanegra” – November 4, 2006

Those who lament the current day’s supposed absence of large Verdian voices would be encouraged by the Houston Grand Opera’s 2006 mounting of the Royal Opera’s production of Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra”. Those who hope that new San Francisco Opera Director David Gockley will be able to restore the tradition of presenting large Verdian voices in … Read more

Review: The Runnicles, Hockney “Tristan” in San Francisco – October 22, 2006

Conductor Donald Runnicles has had an extraordinary impact over more than a decade and a half of musical performances at the San Francisco Opera, serving with three quite different personalities holding the General Director position – Lotfi Mansouri, Pamela Rosenberg, and David Gockley. The Fall, 2006 S. F. Opera season is notable for two events.  The first … Read more