Cher Public

Lounging in their caftans and planning a triumph on their own behalf

brunchThis candid photo from the dress rehearsal of San Francisco Opera’s new production of Aida reveals a fascinating production concept: the entire action is set at a cocktail party at the Taylor-Burtons’ circa 1971.

Life sentence

makropulosFifty years after the U.S. premiere of Leos Janácek’s The Makropulos Case at the San Francisco Opera, the piece made a successful return to the same building this month. Featuring a daring performance by leading soprano Nadja Michael and sung in the original Czech, Janácek’s disconcerting commentary on youth and immortality received a full-throated performance.  Read more »

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

That little place just two hours from the city is on the list of things I shall never understand, like the plot of Parsifal.

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Incomplete mountain pass

The big news on Van Ness Avenue, it goes without saying, is Calixto Bieito’s operatic debut on these shores.

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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 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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