Cher Public

Stone cold killer

MattilaThere’s a moment early in the film Volver where Almodovar reveals Carmen Maura, his glamorous star of yesteryear, done up as an unkempt old lady, and though it’s easy to google her and see that she’s doing fine in real life, the transformation is wrenchingly poignant. I thought of it last night at the War Memorial despite Karita Mattila’s failure to look a day older than she ever has, because I recall her Jenufas as if they were yesterday, and yet here we are. Batons have been passed. Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding and all that.  Read more »

Four faints in five acts

Don Carlo 1That little place just two hours from the city is on the list of things I shall never understand, like the plot of Parsifal. So there I was rushing back from the realm of very large bugs and a terrifying lack of restaurants, waiting to see if I would make it back and across the bay in time for a one o’clock curtain. For better or worse, I did.  Read more »

Incomplete mountain pass

Carmen 1It’s been a surprising season in San Francisco: lots of comings and goings, often serendipitous, and what looked on paper to be in the mid-range of “good enough” has instead been, on the whole, deeply satisfying. While next season’s slate of operas and stars prompted one local critic to pen the headline “San Francisco Opera announces end of reviewer’s interest in art form,” the summer season still promises some thrills.  Read more »

I shall marry the Miller’s daughter

I grew up with the Anna Moffo recording of Luisa Miller, so it was fortuitous that the Met gave the premiere of a new production in 1968, around the time RCA released the album.

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Ombra mai fu!

When it comes to throwing shade, Latrice Royale herself must surely yield her crown to the queen who made a contribution to the Rentboy.com Legal Defense Fund “In honor of David Gockley and San Francisco Opera’s production of Gordon Getty‘s Usher House.”

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The Good, the Bad and the Gockley

Even in San Francisco, actions speak louder than words.

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Chute your shot

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher is heavy on macabre atmosphere and light on action.

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Busyness as usual

Emilio Sagi’s production of The Barber of Seville is ungepotchket in the flesh.

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Wahn for a day

Die Meistersinger is a bold stroke of programming, in a not particularly exciting way.

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Chute and ladders

San Francisco Opera yesterday announced its third major cast change in five days.

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