San Francisco Opera's fourth presentation in the 2014/15 season is Handel's hit from 1730, Partenope. Directed by Christopher Alden, the production debuted in 2008 and is a joint effort with the English National Opera and Opera Australia.
I have to hand it to Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev. Easily the world's most exciting ballet couple, they could probably spend the rest of their careers performing Don Quixote, and still pack houses every night.
The thing I'm bursting to tell you immediately about Two Boys is that Anne Strawson (Alice Coote), the detective inspector at the center of it, is about as dumb a cop as you'd hope to avoid on a case where you've been victimized.
Does the Arts Council "reduce from the bottom," zeroing out grants to the smallest grantees (effectively putting them out of business), or does it make drastic cuts to the largest organizations, which presumably have the easiest time raising private funds?
Let the production proceed. But let people be educated about its glaring flaws lest they fall into the trap of the moral equivalence between those who live to kill and those who are forced to kill because they wish to live.
The San Francisco Opera's company premiere of Xerxes included several instruments rarely heard in operatic ensembles: the arch lute, baroque guitar, and theorbo (a long-necked lute sometimes referred to as a chitarrone).