Cher Public

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

“Beware of her fair hair, for she excels / All women in the magic of her locks…”

Mahler’s adage that “a symphony must be like the world; it must contain everything,” may be a tired cliché today—the stuff of orchestra brochures and pre-concert lectures. But it captures one of the most fundamental urges in romantic music: to create a self-sufficient, unified whole. Read more »

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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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.

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