Cher Public

Michael Anthonio

Michael Anthonio’s love affairs with classical music and opera started in primary school, when his parents bought him an organ and he began taking lessons. During high school and college, he gave private organ lessons to some of his parents’ friends’ kids (for pocket money) and he was church organist and later, choir conductor. In 1999 he moved to Singapore where he got involved with the classical music online website “flying inkpot.” His interest in opera became an obsession when he was transferred for work to US in 2008. In addition to enjoying world-class opera in SF, he indulges in opera tours in Europe. His favorite opera composer is Handel; at this point, Michael seen 24 of his operas , with hopefully three more coming next year.

Under the silver lake

“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” went the introduction to the 1940s radio program The Shadow, an apt description for the San Francisco Opera’s second-ever production of Czech composer Antonín Dvorák’s haunting opera Rusalka, that opened at War Memorial Opera House in a spectacular fashion Sunday June 16—after 24 years! Read more »

Touch me in the mourning

“How far should we give way to grief? How far dare we, without disaster?” Such heavy, contemplative words were uttered wisely by the main character of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s youthful Die tote Stadt. The opera opened at Teatro alla Scala Milan for the first time in a glamorous production by English director Graham Vick on Tuesday, May 28. Read more »

Pilot program

Just a couple of weeks ago I reported here on a performance of Handel’s Orlando from Theater an der Wien, a musically glorious show marred by, in my opinion, Claus Guth’s incoherent staging. Since I made a reference to Harry Fehr’s production there and both performances are still fresh in my mind, please allow me the indulgence of using that review as reference point in reviewing San Francisco Opera’s new production of Orlando (the first in 34 years) that opened on Sunday. Read more »

Words get in the way

In war-heavy Munich late 1942, 70-something-year-old Richard Strauss expanded the theme of a little opera of Salieri (Prima la musica e poi le parole) into “A Conversation Piece of Music” as he premiered his final opera Capriccio, conducted by its librettist Clemens Krauss. Teatro Real waited for 70-something years to present the opera for the first time, as they did beautifully on May 27 in an exquisite production by Christof Loy. Read more »

Nice nice baby

“Tame” seemed to be the appropriate adjective to describe San Francisco Opera’s Carmen.

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Tears in heaven

There is a deep sense of culmination and finality when we discuss the last works of the great Masters. 

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There will be bloom

In the more than 500 years of the history of operas, rarely (if ever) has a coming of age story, particularly one from the child’s point of view, been presented as the main topic of the opera.

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Claus Guth, in a staging of Handel’s Orlando for Theater an der Wien, decided to revisit a PTSD theme.

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