John Masko

John Masko, a native of the Providence, RI area, is an orchestral conducting master’s student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. During his undergraduate years at Yale College, John was active in student opera both as a music director and vocal coach, working on productions of Die Fledermaus, Dido and Aeneas, Castor et Pollux, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado. After he graduated with a double major in history and music in 2014, John’s diverse interests led him to a two-year international politics research and writing position at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, while he simultaneously studied the art of conducting. He is winner of the 2016 Rubin Institute Audience Review Prize for music criticism.

Baby the rain must fall Baby the rain must fall

As Brünnhilde invokes the gods of an empty Valhalla for one last time and strides confidently into a wall of flame, we pause for a moment, unsure of what will follow.

on June 19, 2018 at 9:30 AM
Human, all too human Human, all too human

Siegfried is, in a sense, The Ring’s odd one out.

on June 17, 2018 at 12:45 PM
The hipster demigoddess The hipster demigoddess

If Das Rheingold is an opera about infinitude, the illusory idea that the world is large enough to satisfy all of our desires, passions, and lusts, Die Walküre is an opera about scarcity.

on June 15, 2018 at 12:23 PM
San Francisco, open your Rheingold gate San Francisco, open your Rheingold gate

Casting the Ring as a parable for the state of the current world, seen through the eyes of a progressive urban opera lover (and not an early German nationalist), offers us soothing self-justification.

on June 13, 2018 at 9:04 PM
Midcentury, modern Midcentury, modern

In recent years, Opera Paralléle has established a reputation for creative programming of contemporary opera in San Francisco. Persuaded both by the promise of an unusual Bernstein-Heggie double bill, and the unusual venue of SF Jazz’s Miner Auditorium, I had the pleasure of attending an excellent production this past week. 

on February 19, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Golden wreck Golden wreck

I really wished to avoid joining the pig pile of derision that has fallen on SF Opera’s premiere of John Adams and Peter Sellars’ Girls of the Golden West.

on December 09, 2017 at 12:49 PM
The pleasure of her company The pleasure of her company

It is not easy for an opera company to follow a spectacular production of La Traviata with Massenet’s Manon.

on November 21, 2017 at 12:12 PM
As time goes on, I realize just what you mean to me As time goes on, I realize just what you mean to me

There is a slight chill in the air during the final minutes of La Traviata.

on October 03, 2017 at 1:23 PM
This is a man’s world This is a man’s world

Brian Jagde‘s creative and charismatic Calaf was almost enough to make up for his counterpart Martina Serafin’s distant portrayal of Turandot.

on September 11, 2017 at 9:00 AM
Only connect… Only connect…

Anna Caterina Antonacci delivered a tour de force of French diction, subtlety of phrasing, variation of vocal timbre, and white-hot stage acting.

on March 23, 2017 at 12:14 PM
All right on the western front All right on the western front

Silent Night is in a sense a giant middle finger raised against the conventional wisdom that musical sophistication requires inscrutability.

on February 28, 2017 at 2:34 PM
Open source Open source

Ted Hearne’s opera/oratorio The Source brings compositional process and combination of acoustic and electronic elements to the weighty topics of national security leaks, big data, and war.

on February 27, 2017 at 8:00 AM
Tag sale Tag sale

It is a good rule of thumb that if you emerge from a massive grand opera like Aida feeling any less than overwhelmed, you have a right to be somewhat disappointed.

on December 02, 2016 at 9:31 AM
All night long All night long

In one important respect, a great production of Puccini resembles a great production of Wagner.

on November 18, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Life sentence Life sentence

Janácek’s disconcerting commentary on youth and immortality received a full-throated performance.

on November 01, 2016 at 9:53 AM