Cher Public

Mortality play

Silvie Jensen, queen of the gods in San Francisco.

This year marked the ninth annual American Bach Soloists Festival and Academy, which the program proudly called “San Francisco’s Summer Bach Festival”. Over the years, ABS had been bringing some rarities as the highlights of the Summer Festival to showcase the ABS Academy, “an advanced training program for emerging professionals and accomplished students of historically informed performance practice” as mentioned in their website.  Read more »

Alexander was great

Late summer in SF usually means time for Merola Opera program’s two staged opera productions. The prestigious opera training program, which celebrated their 60 years’ anniversary last year, is still going strong to be “a proving ground for the future of opera,” as mentioned in their tagline.  Read more »

Smoky eye witness news

San Francisco announced just now that Evelyn Herlitzius has canceled her performances this summer of Brünnhilde in Der Ring des Nibelungen, to be replaced by Grace Slick Iréne Theorin. (More strikingly styled photos of La Theorin may be found on her website.)  Read more »

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. 

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La nuit d’une étoile

“American tenor Matthew Polenzani sings the title role opposite Natalie Dessay as Antonia, Christian Van Horn as the four villains, Angela Brower as Nicklausse, Hye Jung Lee as Olympia, Irene Roberts as Giulietta and Jacqueline Piccolino as Stella.”

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Abs of a Soldier

La Cieca has obtained this photo of Thomas Hampson headlining Camouflage Night at Powerhouse, uh, rehearsing for Heart of a Soldier at the San Francisco Opera. You can tell the scene is Northern Rhodesia in 1962, because that is where the British military first started offering complimentary personal training packages to their troops.

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Brunchmädchen walten dort hehr

Reactions to the Zambello Ring may have been mixed, but the response to the Parterrian meet-ups was roaringly positive, as shown by the massive turnout for the last pre-Götterdämmerung brunch. So here (well, actually, not here, but rather after the jump) are the faces behind some of the monikers. 

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Ring around the Bay

Here goes with the End of the Gods and the End of these Ring reviews:  Götterdämmerung was more of a mixed bag than the other operas, but still left a powerful impression. This was where Zambello’s choice to steer clear of heavy spectacle was most evident to me. The cost in grandeur was offset by an absence of dumb bombast and a gain in intimacy and character definition. I don’t know how well that last factor would hold up in a revival director’s hands, but on the whole she made the approach pay off handsomely.  

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