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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

Cellist Zuill Bailey - On Nico Muhly and Ernest Bloch

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 7:07 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 | 5:05 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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A Profile of Hansuke Yamamoto, Soloist With San Francisco Ballet

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 5:22 PM

I first saw Hansuke Yamamoto as the Bluebird in San Francisco Ballet's 2006 presentation of Sleeping Beauty. He leaped out from stage right and at such height that it sparked an audible gasp throughout the War Memorial Opera House. Choreographed by Helgi Tomasson, the production was a much-welcomed fix. Sleeping...

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A Conversation With Luke Ingham, Principal Dancer at San Francisco Ballet

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 6:46 PM

Principal Dancer Luke Ingham delivered a spectacular performance in San Francisco Ballet's opening night presentation of Liam Scarlett's Hummingbird. Part of Program 4, it shares a double-bill with Jerome Robbins' 1969 classic, Dances at a Gathering and runs through March 8. Luke is teamed with Principal Dancer Yuan...

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Anne-Sophie Mutter - A Profile of the Artist

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 6:50 PM

Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter joins conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony for three performances of Brahms's Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 on February 26-28 at 8:00. The March 1 performance at 2:00 will feature her protégé, Ye-Eun Choi, a recipient of the

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A Conversation With Pianist Hélène Grimaud -- At Davies Symphony Hall, 2/15-16

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2015 | 4:34 PM

Pianist Hélène Grimaud returns to Davies Symphony Hall on February 15 and 16 with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic. The Sunday concert begins at 7 p.m. and features Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. On Monday night at 8 p.m., the program opens with...

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A Profile of Choreographer Val Caniparoli -- 20th Anniversaries for 'Lambarena' and 'Lady of the Camellias'

(0) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 9:51 AM

This season marks the 20th Anniversary of choreographer Val Caniparoli's immensely popular ballet, Lambarena. The work was created in 1995 for San Francisco Ballet and - at the heart of its inspirational force - Principal Dancer Evelyn Cisneros. Lambarena is a part of Program 1 at SFBallet which...

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In Conversation With Debby Boone - Coming to Davies Hall

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 1:58 PM

This Sunday, December 7, Michael Feinstein and Debby Boone welcome the holiday season at Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco. Under the musical direction of John Oddo, Michael and Debby will perform a variety of holiday favorites, classics from the American Songbook, and selections by Irving Berlin from the 1954 film,...

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Tenor Michael Fabiano: On La Bohème, Now at San Francisco Opera

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 9:12 AM

Tenor Michael Fabiano is superb as Rodolfo in San Francisco Opera's current presentation of La Bohème. Already acclaimed for his command of the role, Fabiano's dynamic range, musical finesse and passionate energy shine in this exciting co-production with Houston Grand Opera and Canadian Opera Company. This final entry of SFOpera's...

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Filmmaker Judy Irving - on 'Pelican Dreams'

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 2:34 PM

Sometimes the answer just falls out of the sky. It's clear and obvious -- maybe standing in front of you. Like, love-at-first-sight.

Six years ago, there was a brief story on local broadcast news about a pelican that had stopped traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge. The bird had...

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Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo -- A Stunning Debut in 'Partenope' at San Francisco Opera

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 5:34 PM

San Francisco Opera's current production of Handel's 1730 comedy, Partenope -- now transported to a high-toned Parisian salon in the 1920s -- is an intoxicating whirlwind of fresh air. Directed by Christopher Alden, Partenope is the most desirable musical (maybe game) ticket of the season. Alden's concept is...

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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'

(2) 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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