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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

Pianist Stewart Goodyear -- on 'The Nutcracker'

(0) Comments | Posted November 23, 2015 | 6:18 PM

Pianist and composer Stewart Goodyear's new recording - The Nutcracker, Complete Ballet Arranged for Solo Piano - is the best new thing in Tchaikovsky. Released by Steinway and Sons, Stewart's piano reduction is rich with what he referred to as the "juicy stuff" within the score - the...

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

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2015 | 5:09 PM

San Francisco Opera presents designer Jun Kaneko's extraordinary production of Mozart's The Magic Flute now through November 20. Tenor Paul Appleby marks his company debut as Tamino - the young prince who must survive certain tests in the Temple of Ordeal to gain enlightenment. The production premiered at...

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

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2015 | 5:21 AM

San Francisco Opera's revival of designer Jun Kaneko's The Magic Flute is simply the best show in town. Now through November 20, it's all about Art - what can be done with a square and compass, digital technology, a magnificent company of musicians, and Mozart. With an English...

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Organist Paul Jacobs and Soprano Christine Brewer -- This Week at Davies Hall

(3) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 1:24 AM

Organist Paul Jacobs and soprano Christine Brewer come to San Francisco's Davies Hall on Sunday afternoon, October 18 to present works from their recording, Divine Redeemer, released last month on the Naxos label. The CD features selections by Bach, Handel, Franck, Nadia and Lili Boulanger, Puccini, Gounod, and...

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Soprano Susanna Phillips: This Week With San Francisco Symphony, 9/30 through 10/3

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 6:58 AM

This week San Francisco Symphony presents soprano Susanna Phillips in Samuel Barber's enduring composition from 1947, Knoxville: Summer of 1915. Given the stinging heat wave that hovered over the City these past few weeks, the sentiments of the text by James Agee and the picturesque tones of Barber...

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

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 3:29 PM

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. The dynamic singers were paired last season in the Company's winter production of La Bohème. They proved their vocal...

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

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2015 | 6:54 PM

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 presents Sweeney...

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Composer Steve Barta Releases CD and LP - 'Symphonic Arrangement: Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio'

(0) Comments | Posted August 10, 2015 | 4:58 PM

Released July 15 on vinyl LP and CD formats, Symphonic Arrangement: Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio is a breakthrough recording and a dream fulfilled. The Suite part comes from composer Claude Bolling in 1973. Its 1975 premiere recording featured Bolling on piano along with flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal and...

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A Profile of Soprano Christine Brewer - At the Interlochen Summer Arts Festival, 8/2

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 5:38 PM

On Sunday, August 2, the lucky attendants at this year's Interlochen Summer Arts Festival will hear soprano Christine Brewer perform Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915. Cristian Macelaru will conduct the World Youth Symphony Orchestra in this enduring American art song composed in 1947 and set to text...

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Pianist Jeffrey Biegel - New Recordings Include a Revitalized Classic on Vinyl LP

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 8:10 PM

Jeffrey Biegel is one of the busiest and most versatile pianists around. A Steinway Artist, he is both fiery champion of the classical repertoire and top pick among today's classical composers to debut their work. Jeffrey also maintains an active recording schedule -- three albums are being released this summer....

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A Profile of Sheena Easton - At Davies Symphony Hall, July 23

(0) Comments | Posted July 20, 2015 | 9:58 AM

Sheena Easton returns to San Francisco Symphony with conductor Edwin Outwater on Thursday, July 23 for the premiere presentation of The Spy Who Loved Me - an evening of songs and themes from the uber-popular James Bond films and other secret agent-related movies and TV programs. Joining her...

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

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 5:35 PM

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. The...

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

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 8:08 AM

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. As Count Almaviva's personal man servant - and also friend - Figaro is the kind of guy one expects to find in the immediate...

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

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2015 | 9:03 PM

For mezzo-soprano Susan Graham - San Francisco Opera and the War Memorial Opera House is home. 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...

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A Time-Out With Isabel Leonard: In 'L'Heure Espagnole' at San Francisco Symphony, 6/4-6

(0) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 3:50 PM

Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard appears with conductor Charles Dutoit and the San Francisco Symphony this week in Ravel's one-act comic opera, L'Heure espagnole. (The Spanish Hour). The program opens with Ravel's brief "morning song," Alborado del gracioso and concludes with Manuel de Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain...

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Gautier Capuçon: On Elgar's Cello Concerto, at San Francisco Symphony, 5/27-31

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 7:17 AM

Cellist Gautier Capuçon returns to San Francisco Symphony for five performances of Sir Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor, Opus 85. Conducted by Charles Dutoit, the program will run from Wednesday, May 27 through Sunday, May 31 and will include Stravinsky's Jeu de cartes (The Card Game) and Mussorgsky's...

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A Conversation With Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet -- This Week With San Francisco Symphony

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2015 | 4:49 PM

Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony this week in four performances of Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 2: The Age of Anxiety. Beginning Thursday, May 7 through Sunday, May 10, the program includes Mahler's Symphony No. 4 and features soprano Susanna Phillips in...

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Helgi Tomasson on His 'Romeo and Juliet' - An Anniversary at San Francisco Ballet

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 2:02 PM

San Francisco Ballet finishes its programs at the War Memorial Opera House with eleven performances of Helgi Tomasson's Romeo and Juliet beginning Friday, May 1 and concluding Sunday, May 10. The entire season has been a glamorous and artistic triumph for the Company and a stunning tribute for...

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Cellist Zuill Bailey - On Nico Muhly and Ernest Bloch

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 8:07 PM

Cellist Zuill Bailey's latest recording, Muhly & Bloch, combines the world premiere recording of Nico Muhly's Cello Concerto with Ernest Bloch's Schelomo and Three Jewish Poems. Jun Märkl conducted the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in this live recording taken from concerts held at the Hilbert Circle Theater, Indianapolis. Released...

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In Conversation With Principal Dancer Davit Karapetyan -- San Francisco Ballet's 'Shostakovich'

(1) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 6:05 PM

San Francisco Ballet's Program 6, Shostakovich Trilogy, opens Wednesday, April 8 and will run for seven performances through Sunday, April 19. A major hit of the 2014 season, the triptych choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky is set to Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 9, Chamber Symphony in C minor, and...

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