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

Historical Performances: Die Walküre with Nilsson, Hotter, Rysanek, Suthaus and Rankin, San Francisco Opera in Los Angeles, November 4, 1956

This is the fifth of ten observances of historic performances of the San Francisco Opera that I attended during the company’s annual tours of Southern California On October 24, 1956 our mothers drove Stephen and myself from San Diego to the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles where I saw my first Italian Opera – Verdi’s … Read more

Review: Missing “That 70’s Show” – San Francisco Opera “Ballo” – September 17, 2006

Verdi’s “Ballo in Maschera” returned to the San Francisco Opera with the role of Amelia reprised by Deborah Voigt.  She again proved herself to be a full-voiced Verdian dramatic soprano, in a role she had sung 16 years ago here in the excellent company of Ermanno Mauro. Her Gustavo/Riccardo in the 2006 performance was Marcus … Read more

Review: “Die Fledermaus” at San Francisco Opera – September 16, 2006

The decision to mount Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus”, that zany parody of late nineteenth century Viennese high life, was made after David Gockley was appointed the new General Director of the San Francisco Opera in 2005. The 1990 production, from the era of former General Director Lotfi Mansouri, was sung in usually intelligible English (all … Read more