Review: Two “Forza del Destinos”, Part 1 – Oper Zurich, October 19, 2005

My wife and I attended new productions of “Forza del Destino” in Zurich, Switzerland on October 19 and San Francisco, California on November 20, 2005. The production’s destiny The new production was staged by French director Nicolas Joel, familiar to San Francisco Opera audiences as first a collaborator with Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, then as a stage … Read more

Review: San Francisco Opera Mounts Santa Fe Opera’s “L’Italiana in Algeri”, September 30, 2005

In September, the San Francisco Opera mounted director Edward Hastings and set designer Robert Innes Hopkins’ realization of Rossini’s “L’Italiana in Algeri” in a production borrowed from the Santa Fe Opera. The Hastings/Hopkins’ production of Janacek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen” was seen in San Francisco in 2004. “L’Italiana” was, of course, Rossini’s first big hit, … Read more

Review: David Alden Stages Handel’s “Rodelinda” – San Francisco Opera, September 25, 2005

The San Francisco Opera presented Handel’s “Rodelinda” as the second offering of the final fall season of the departing General Director Pamela Rosenberg. The excellent cast consisted of California soprano Catherine Naglestad as Rodelinda, South Carolina countertenor David Daniels as Barterido, Arkansas countertenor Gerald Thompson as Unulfo, British tenor Paul Nilon as Grimoaldo and Italian … Read more

Review: Warhorse Warriors – John Cox’ ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ at San Francisco Opera, July 2, 2005

John Cox is rarely thought of as a “concept director”, creating productions that transform an opera into a time, place and context unimagined by the composer and librettist in order to put make some point, or perhaps only for shock and awe. Cox, a former general director at the Glyndebourne Festival whose attentions are now … Read more

Review: An Enchanting “Pearl Fishers” with Castronovo, Amsellem and Dazely – San Francisco Opera, June 26, 2005

The San Francisco Opera, for the first time in “main season” history presented 24-year old Georges Bizet’s “Les pĂȘcheurs de perles [The Pearl Fishers”]. Although French Second Empire opera fare had not been associated with the General Directorship of San Francisco Opera’s Pamela Rosenberg, she signed up San Francisco to be the second stop for … Read more