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San Francisco Opera

Home Is Where the Heart Was (a Long Time Ago)

George Heymont | Posted 02.04.2016 | Arts
George Heymont

Childhood memories of the homes in which we grew up can become distorted over time.

Swept Away

George Heymont | Posted 01.31.2016 | Arts
George Heymont

What do you learn when you experience something for the first time and feel like you've been launched out of your seat on a rocket? Those are moments to be treasured. Late in 2015 (a year filled with artistic highs), two performances sent me through the ceiling when I least expected it.

The Fickle Finger of Faith

George Heymont | Posted 01.14.2016 | Arts
George Heymont

From one-night stands to marriages that have lasted six or seven decades, romance has always been a curious ingredient in relationships. Primitive cultures that relied on agriculture for survival often practiced fertility rites designed to please the gods in the hope of being blessed with abundant crops.

Damsels in Distress

George Heymont | Posted 12.10.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Much of the dramatic conflict in two recent Bay area productions was caused by the fallout from an arranged marriage that seemed destined to please a lot of people. Unfortunately, the bride was not one of them.

Baritone Brian Mulligan - Bracing Up for 'The Fall of the House of Usher' at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield | Posted 12.03.2015 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

Opening Tuesday, December 8 at San Francisco Opera is the U.S. premiere of a double-bill of Gothic horror - two versions of Edgar Allan Poe's classic ...

Sing Out, Luisa!

George Heymont | Posted 11.29.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

For several decades, a debate has raged over whether the voices of opera singers should be used to sing the musical theatre repertory. San Francisco Opera's General Director, David Gockley, was at the forefront of including musical theatre when he was General Director of the Houston Grand Opera.

In Conversation with Tenor Paul Appleby - A Smart Debut at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield | Posted 11.11.2015 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

San Francisco Opera presents designer Jun Kaneko's extraordinary production of Mozart's The Magic Flute now through November 20. Tenor Paul Appleby ma...

San Francisco Opera's Magical Magic Flute, With Cool Animals, in English

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 10.28.2015 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

Any opera (novel, movie, play) with the word magic in the title sets you up to expect just that in the story or staging. Those expectations are certainly met in the production of The Magic Flute, Mozart's final opera, currently at the War Memorial Opera House.

Baritone Efraín Solís on 'Papageno' -- Now at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield | Posted 10.23.2015 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

San Francisco Opera's revival of designer Jun Kaneko's The Magic Flute is simply the best show in town.

Song Over Story (But That's OK): San Francisco Opera's Luisa Miller and Lucia di Lammermoor

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 10.02.2015 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

The vocal writing calls for everything a singer can do, and soprano Leah Crocetto, as Luisa, an innocent young village girl, and tenor Michael Fabiano, as Rodolfo, the son of the ruling count, with whom she falls in love when she thinks he is simply "Carlo," are completely up to the task.

Soprano Leah Crocetto -- On 'Luisa Miller' at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield | Posted 09.24.2015 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

San Francisco Opera opened its 2015/16 last week with Giuseppi Verdi's Luisa Miller. Leah Crocetto is cast in the title role, tenor Michael Fabiano portrays her conflicted lover, Rodolfo.

Stephanie Blythe on 'Mrs. Lovett' - Now at San Francisco Opera through 9/29

Sean Martinfield | Posted 09.22.2015 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

Is Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd an opera -- or what? The work has been around for thirty-six years and known all around the world -- challenging labels, accommodating professional and academic venues, always a kaleidoscope of actors who sing and singers who act.

San Francisco Opera's Meaty and Delicious Sweeney Todd

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 09.22.2015 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

So there's music for mind and ear here, as one would expect from Sondheim. Many consider Sweeney Todd his masterpiece. The songs certainly suit operatic voices, although not every opera singer could move so nimbly from ballad to music-hall bawdiness and back again.

All's Not Fair in Love and War

George Heymont | Posted 09.20.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Now that 70 years have passed since the end of World War II, it's interesting to look at it from new perspectives. Although I doubt there was any collaboration between the two San Francisco summer festivals that did so, the results were fascinating.

SF Opera Gala is Grand for Grandees

Jennifer Raiser | Posted 09.17.2015 | San Francisco
Jennifer Raiser

Lovers in Tyrolean castles were hardly on the minds of many who arrived at the War Memorial Opera House for the "Moonlight and Music" Gala Opening of the Opera, the kickoff to the San Francisco social season.

A Woman's Work Is Never Done

George Heymont | Posted 08.23.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

The battle of the sexes may be as old as time. But men often approach the battlefield armed with belligerence, brawn and bravado while women manage to bewitch, bother, and bewilder them with a potent combination of brains and beauty.

Not Since Nineveh

George Heymont | Posted 08.20.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

The closing night attraction of the 2015 San Francisco Silent Film Festival was a screening of 1925's Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ starring Ramon Navarro as Judah Ben-Hur.

Five Short Hours With Berlioz's the Trojans in San Francisco

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 07.10.2015 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

Was it harmonic convergence or just a coincidence that I was able to see two hughly anticipated music events in the same week?

28 Chinese Cavort Amid the Treasures of the Asian Art Museum

Carla Escoda | Posted 07.07.2015 | Arts
Carla Escoda

The placement of these artworks is disconcerting and, for the most part, brilliant. Viewing the modern work next to ancient artifacts from China and from neighboring countries with which it has had a volatile history, instantly rewires our brains.

Afloat Once More on San Francisco Opera's Show Boat...and in Its Wake, 'Sweeney Todd'

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 07.04.2015 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

I just had one of the best opera experiences of my life, attending San Francisco Opera's terrific production of The Trojans, with its gorgeous music by Hector Berlioz, monumental sets and some of the best singers performing today.

A Conversation With Sarah Shafer - Young Soprano Shines in 'La Ciociara' at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield | Posted 06.26.2015 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

Soprano Sarah Shafer is currently singing the role of "Rosetta" in the world premiere of La Ciociara (Two Women) at San Francisco Opera. A co-production with Teatro Regio di Torino, the score is by Marco Tutino as well as its libretto written in collaboration with Fabio Ceresa.

Philippe Sly Debuts as 'Figaro' - Now at San Francisco Opera through July 5

Sean Martinfield | Posted 06.18.2015 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

Philippe Sly is making his role debut as Figaro in San Francisco Opera's current production of The Marriage of Figaro. It's a perfect harmony.

An Audience With Susan Graham - Queen of Carthage in 'Les Troyens' at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield | Posted 06.10.2015 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

This year marks her 25th Anniversary with the company. Susan is back and currently starring as "Didon" in Hector Berlioz's 1858 epic masterpiece, Les Troyens which opened this past Sunday afternoon and will play an additional five performances through July 1.

Life Can Be Such a Drag!

George Heymont | Posted 03.27.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

So many questions about gender identity found a place in 2014's headlines that, as the world put last year to rest and got on with the business of 2015, I couldn't help but think back to a particular week last fall.

I Like My (Operatic) Meat Well Done

George Heymont | Posted 03.17.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

If one searched for the polymaths who made the greatest contributions to opera during the second half of the 20th century, two names would instantly come to mind.