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Sean Martinfield
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Sean Martinfield is a First-Nighter on San Francisco's cultural scene. His beat includes the opera, ballet, and symphony, along with Broadway touring companies, fine arts museum exhibits, popular film festivals, and more. He has been the cultural editor of since 2005 and more recently the Classical Music reviewer at Sean is nationally recognized as a professional singing coach and has published thousands of responses to career questions on

Entries by Sean Martinfield

A Conversation With Bass-Baritone Philippe Sly

(1) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 5:16 AM

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. In 2009, it won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New...

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Steve Wilson on 'The Making of Gone with the Wind'

(1) Comments | Posted October 3, 2014 | 12:10 PM

Just when I thought I could answer any trivia question on David O. Selznick's 1939 production of Gone with the Wind, comes a treasure of new material in Steve Wilson's book, The Making of Gone with the Wind. It is the companion piece to an exhibit now at...

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The Alloy Orchestra Meets 'Son of the Sheik' at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 1:02 PM

The Son of the Sheik is a milestone in American cinema. It is a virtual textbook in motion picture making and at the time of its premiere - September 5, 1926 - it defined "state-of-the-art". Thirteen days prior to that screening, the film's popular leading man, thirty-one year old Rudolph...

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Bass Baritone Christian Van Horn -- A Busy Season at San Francisco Opera

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 9:30 AM

Christian Van Horn is Oroveso in San Francisco Opera's new production of Bellini's Norma. The bel canto gem opened the 2014/15 Season on September 5, making Christian's resounding bass-baritone the first voice to be heard in the Company's 92nd Season. As Chief of the Druids and father of...

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Sondra Radvanovsky and Jamie Barton Shine in New Production of Norma at San Francisco Opera

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 6:02 PM

Since the La Scala premier of Bellini's Norma on the day after Christmas 1831, the opera has been a gritty challenge for any company to take on -- starting with the soprano (or occasional mezzo) in the title role. Fans of this supreme contender in Bel Canto repertoire understand that...

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The Castro's Rainbow Honor Walk: A Preview Stroll with David Perry

(2) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 11:45 AM

Two of the most famous neighborhood blocks in the world are currently undergoing major public works surgery. For months now, the center of San Francisco's Castro District - that being, the two-block stretch between Market and 19th Street - has been packed with determined, hard-hatted construction workers. They're drilling-in a...

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A Profile of Soprano Tony Arnold -- Guest Artist at Santa Fe Chamber Festival 2014

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 5:52 PM

Soprano Tony Arnold is a luminary in the world of Chamber Music and Art Song. Today's classical composers are inspired by her inherently beautiful voice, consummate musicianship, and embracing spirit. Audiences everywhere recognize her assuredness and mastery over a wide range of musical styles, vocal modes and dramatic challenges. On...

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A Conversation With Pianist Stewart Goodyear

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 4:40 PM

Pianist Stewart Goodyear was determined to record Tchaikovsky's Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor and Grieg's Concerto for Piano in A minor. In late spring 2013, following a bit of research, he approached Maestro Stanislav Bogunia and the Czech National Symphony with a proposal. By mid-July, Stewart...

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Tenor Stuart Skelton on Peter Grimes

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 1:29 AM

On June 26-29, San Francisco Symphony presents a semi-staged production of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes. Conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, the three performances will feature heldentenor Stuart Skelton in the title role. Stage direction and costume designs are provided by James Darrah and cinematographer Adam Larsen has created digital imagery...

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"Show Boat" - Jerome Kern's Masterpiece at San Francisco Opera

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 2:00 PM

San Francisco Opera opens its 2014 summer season with a spectacular production of Jerome Kern's SHOW BOAT. It's an opera -- where the ideal performer with the optimal voice is a capital match for the intentions of the composer and his lyricist, Oscar Hammerstein II. Given that Gershwin's...

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Myles Thatcher -- Profile of an Upcoming Dancer and Choreographer

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 4:08 PM

Myles Thatcher's skills and growing reputation as a promising choreographer have been recognized and honored by the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Last month, Myles was awarded a grant and the opportunity to mentor with world renowned choreographer Alexei Ratmansky during the 2014-15 cycle. Since 2010, Myles...

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A Conversation with Dmitri Hvorostovsky - This Week at Davies Hall

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 10:57 AM

Dmitri Hvorostovsky and pianist Ivari Ilja are in recital at Davies Hall on Sunday, May 25. The program begins with a collection of songs by a variety of Russian composers, set to the poetry of Alexander Pushkin. It is followed by the rarely-performed Suite on Verses of Michelangelo...

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Jeffrey Biegel Is Rainbow High on New CD: Life According To Chopin: Chopin's Greatest Piano Solos

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 3:15 PM

Pianist Jeffrey Biegel's latest CD, Life According To Chopin: Chopin's Greatest Piano Solos may be the first tell-all among a colossal number of recordings dedicated to the work of Frédéric Chopin. The eleven tracks represent an overview of the musical forms that shaped him as a composer and pushed him...

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A Conversation With Maestro James Conlon

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 10:47 AM

Beginning Thursday, April 24 through Saturday, April 26, San Francisco Symphony presents an extraordinary combination of masterworks conducted by James Conlon. The diverse and powerful program begins with the Scherzo from composer Erwin Schulhoff's Symphony No. 5. Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is featured in the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1, and...

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In Conversation With Stewart Copeland: Famed Drummer Composes New Soundtrack for 'Ben-Hur' (1925)

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 9:52 AM

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's 1925 silent epic, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, has been revitalized with a new score composed by famed drummer Stewart Copeland. Arranged as a specially-edited 90-minute concert presentation, the world premiere will take place on Saturday, April 19 at the Virginia Arts Festival in Norfolk, Virginia.


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Ricardo Bustamante: Profile of a Ballet Master at San Francisco Ballet

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 4:44 PM

Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky's Shostakovich Trilogy is currently in production at San Francisco Ballet. The work is set to three pieces by Dmitri Shostakovich -- Symphony No. 9, Chamber Symphony, and Piano Concerto No. 1. It is a co-production with American Ballet Theatre which premiered the first part, Symphony...

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A Conversation with Mario Frangoulis: International Tenor Debuts in San Francisco, April 4th

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 1:08 PM

This year tenor Mario Frangoulis observes his twenty-fifth anniversary as a concert and recording artist and performer in musical theatre. Adding to the occasion is his long-awaited debut in San Francisco which takes place this coming Friday, April 4, at the historic and recently restored Nourse Auditorium. Mario will be...

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A Conversation With New Zealander Baritone, Hadleigh Adams

(1) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 4:08 PM

This coming Sunday afternoon the second program of the very popular Schwabacher Debut Recitals takes place in the Martin Meyer Sanctuary at Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco. Tagged as In the Memory Palace, the recital is presented by Steven Blier, the artistic director of the New York Festival of Song....

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A Fabulous Debut at Davies Symphony Hall for Natalie Dessay

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 11:59 AM

Natalie Dessay's debut recital at San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall this past Saturday night was delightful, delirious and de-lovely. Since early last June when she told me of her decision to retire from the operatic stage in order to pursue her ambitions as an actress, I and so many of...

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A Conversation With Pianist Roman Rabinovich

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 4:33 PM

Pianist Roman Rabinovich is currently on a cross-country tour with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra. It is the orchestra's first appearance in the United States and is being led by its Principal Guest Conductor, Boguslaw Dawidow. It has been a packed schedule with a lot of mileage accumulated in-between venues. The...

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