Cher Public

Out there in the dark

The revival of Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Music Center downtown, last seen at LA Opera in 2013, is reason for jubilation for everyone except perhaps the singers engaged. But more of that anon.  Read more »

Every little thing she does is magic

A while back I joined a closed group on Facebook called “The Beverly Sills Crazies.” I can’t recall how I found the first posting on my feed but they seemed like a fun bunch and I’m a great accumulator of digital pictures of set and costume designs. It’s been dubbed my “Opera Porn” collection. When knocking on the door to be let in I did feel it necessary to be frank in that, although I appreciated Ms. Sills and certainly enjoyed her work, I was not “crazy” for her. (My secret heart belongs to another diva.)

I was nonetheless received into the fold with a formal posting on the page and many joyful welcomes. It is, by far, the most well-behaved and pleasant group of people I have ever encountered on the interwebs. They luxuriate in their Beverly exclusively with remembrances, photos, keepsakes and the occasional porcelain figurine. They continue to show their devotion to her through their unstinting good humor and camaraderie.  Read more »

Everytime we say goodbye

Gather around while I play Ghost of New Year’s Eve past—December 31, 1990 to be exact—the gala farewell of Dame Joan Sutherland to the Royal Opera Covent Garden stage.

This classic performance is one of a number Arthaus Musik has seen fit to restore and rerelease, including the famous Robert Carsen Mefistofele with Samuel Ramey from San Francisco Opera, Eva Marton’s first Turandot from Vienna with José Carreras, and the Luca Ronconi Aida from La Scala with Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Chiara, and Ghena Dimitrova as Amneris. It’s great to have them all back with picture upscaled to 1080i in High Definition for Blu-ray even if they do show their age and sound is still just PCM Stereo since they’re all pre-surround.  Read more »

Aida amazon

Ardori inospiti

The most recent Egyptian voluptuary of 2006 by our friend Franco has now been replaced by the most singularly spartan production of Verdi’s masterpiece I think I’ve ever seen.

Read more »


Gli enigmi sono due

Giacomo Puccini’s final opus interruptus is and shall always remain my favorite opera. The reasons for this preference are so varied and numerous that if they were printed and bound the volume would most assuredly require its own stand.  

Read more »

Norma 1

The rite stuff

Remember that time you went to the opera and the entire evening was perfection?

Read more »


Consider the subtleness of the sea

Hopefully the assignment of Herman Melville’s endless whaling opus Moby-Dick as compulsory reading for High School students is a thing of the past.

Read more »


Lady on demand

If you had told me 20 years ago that at some point in the future I would have over 550 of the Metropolitan Opera’s performances, audio and video, at my command with the touch of a button I would say my eulogy had just been read and I’d been taken to my reward.

Read more »

Schicchi 2

Fifty shades of Domingo

LA Opera opened their 30th season with a pairing of two of their most popular productions, both of which were initially staged by filmmakers not unfamiliar with the vagaries of our industry outpost here in Hollywoodland.

Read more »


Worth the candle

One of the glorious perks of my job, which is selling luxury cruises, is that on a semi-occasional basis I get to sample the wares myself—purely from an educational standpoint, mind you.

Read more »