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

Historical Performances: “Simon Boccanegra” with Warren, Tebaldi and Christoff, San Francisco Opera in Los Angeles – October 20, 1956

This is the second of ten observances of historic performances of the San Francisco Opera that I attended during the company‚Äôs annual tours of Southern California Five decades ago, the San Francisco Opera company would conduct a Southern California tour at the conclusion of its Fall season. The addition of the San Diego to its … Read more

Review: San Francisco Opera “Nozze di Figaro” – July 2, 2006

The history of San Francisco Opera has been to reserve performances of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” for established international stars in mid-career. Thus, persons I have seen have included the likes of Sir Geraint Evans, Hermann Prey and Samuel Ramey as Figaro, Lucia Popp as Susanna, Eberhard Waechter, Wolfgang Brendel and Tom Krause as … Read more

Review: Daniels, Yeargan and Racette Team for Masterful “Butterfly” – San Francisco Opera, June 18, 2006

Giacomo Puccini, who had no fluency in English, was drawn to the stage business, sets and avant-garde lighting in two of David Belasco’s Broadway plays – “Madam Butterfly” and “The Girl of the Golden West”. Although the plays, whose dialogue is impossibly out of step with 21st century sensibilities, are irrevocably sows ears as plays … Read more

Review: Zajick is Victor in “Maid of Orleans” – San Francisco Opera, June 18, 2006

Dolora Zajick took no prisoners in a triumphant appearance as Joan of Arc in Tchaikovsky’s “The Maid of Orleans” in San Francisco’s three-opera summer season billed as the ” Return of the Divas”. (Zajick shared Summer Diva-dom with Ruth Ann Swenson, the Countess in Mozart’s “Nozze di Figaro”, and Patricia Racette, performing the title role … Read more