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Triumphant Tetralogy

Triumphant Tetralogy

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | This year for its annual June Festival — which makes a great add-on to Frameline’s LGBTQ film festival and the Bay Area’s other Pride events — San Francisco Opera really delivered “festival goods.” The company revived Francesca Zambello’s “Ring” cycle for three traversals, developed and honed over the years locally and […]

Mermaids, Merimée, Housman, and Holofernes

Mermaids, Merimée, Housman, and Holofernes

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | The Met needed a new “Rusalka” to replace Otto Schenk’s antique Vienna-sourced fairy-tale version, which witnessed some extraordinary performances starring Gabriela Benacková and Renee Fleming. Given Mary Zimmerman’s catastrophic history at this theater, what she and her fine design team produced, seen February 2, proved quite creditable and enjoyable — if short […]

San Francisco Treats  

San Francisco Treats  

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | While attending Pride Week and the fabulous Frameline film festival in San Francisco, there’s much opera to enjoy every June. Berlioz’s sublime “Les troyens” represents a monumental undertaking for any company; SFO hadn’t done so since massively cut performances in the 1960s with Régine Crespin. All the more reason to praise Donald […]

Bad Girl Gone Wild in a Gulag

Bad Girl Gone Wild in a Gulag

BY ELI JACOBSON | Some operas take a while to click with audiences — it may take a revival with the right cast and a crowd receptive to its message. The Metropolitan Opera’s current revival of Dmitri Shostakovich’s scandalous 1934 opera “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” is a case in point. When the Graham Vick production premiered […]

Late Winter Voices

Late Winter Voices

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | February 21 witnessed a bittersweet occasion at City Center –– fabulous to see, but with acoustics often jarringly opaque. The valiant New York City Opera Orchestra under the versatile George Manahan paid tribute to the late lamented “people’s opera” with a 70th anniversary concert as a benefit for Local 802’s Musician’s Emergency […]