Review: Mariinsky “Götterdämmerung” in Orange County – ‘Hehrstes Wunder’ October 11, 2006

The final opera of the Kirov Opera/Mariinsky Theatre presentation of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” in California’s Orange County commenced in the late afternoon on the fifth day after the Friday evening “Rheingold” that began it all. Valery Gergiev, the Kirov/Mariinsky’s great wonder, again conducted. As the Three Norns came into view, tending buoys around … Read more

Review: Kirov’s “Siegfried” Slays Dragon, Conquers Orange County – October 9, 2006

Wagner thought that if one opera of his four-opera “Ring of the Nibelungs” would be performed separately from the other three in the series, it would be “Siegfried”. He, of course, was wrong about this. “Die Walkuere”, perhaps because of the its popular third act “Ride of the Valkyrs”, and certainly for its lusciously written … Read more

Review: Domingo, Kirov “Walküre” in Costa Mesa – October 7, 2006

The second opera of the Kirov Mariinsky Theatre’s production of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” brought together two mysterious forces – Gergiev and Tsypin’s furtive symbology of mankind’s collective memory about the age when gods, giants and dwarves shared the Earth and the seemingly indestructible voice of 64-year old Placido Domingo in his signature Wagnerian … Read more

Review: Going For the Gold – Kirov Ring’s “Das Rheingold” in Costa Mesa – October 6, 2006

Fifty years ago in Los Angeles, when I saw my first Wagnerian Opera, it was the San Francisco Opera company that travelled to Southern California to share its wealth of “world class” opera performances. Now, we have had the unpleasant experience of a decade of decline in San Francisco, which the new management of David … Read more

Review: “Thriller”- Paterson Links with Netrebko, Villazon and Domingo in Los Angeles Opera “Manon”, October 5, 2006

The detractors of Jules Massenet, who wish all of his operas would disappear once and for all, experienced a near-fatal blow when his most performed opera, “Manon”, was revived in a brilliant new Los Angeles Opera production at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. A quartet of celebrities assured that the endeavor would make a splash in … Read more