Cher Public

Baby the rain must fall

World, ash.

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. Wagner’s brass play a grotesque fanfare while the flames consume her, and we’re seized with a sudden dread that all might be lost.  Read more »

Human, all too human

Sleep no more: Daniel Brenna and Iréne Theorin.

Siegfried is, in a sense, The Ring’s odd one out. It’s the most intimate opera in the cycle, calling for an eighght-person cast and no ensemble. In mood it’s also the lightest, offering significant periods of genuine comic relief and good humor. But all of this lightness ought not distract us from the tectonic shift occurring beneath the surface: a shift from a world centered around gods, dwarves, and giants to a world of men.  Read more »

The hipster demigoddess

“Radiant and spunky” Iréne Theorin

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.  Read more »

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.

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Do let this stranger wait outside your door

San Francisco opera offers a new peak in drab, listless programming in their 2018-2019 “Leftovers and Stuff We Got With Coupons” gala season.

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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.

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Word problem

I’ve been picking away yet again at the mysterious symbiosis between an opera’s words and its music.

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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.

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