Cosi fan tutte in San Francisco

Cosi fan tutte (1790), the little sister of the Mozart Da Ponte trilogy, was mounted last night in the same set used by its older brother The Marriage of Figaro…

Fidelio in San Francisco

A superb cast, a fine production, inspired conducting, classy orchestra and a classy chorus, a wired audience — it was Fidelio last night at the War Memorial Opera House. To…

Two Shows at Salzburg’s Rock Riding School

Mind-blowing productions of Strauss’ Elektra staged by Krzysztof Warlikowski and Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza 1960 staged by Jan Lauwers. [Lead photo is a detail of the back wall of Elektra covered…

Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro 2021

Moïse et Pharaon, ou Le passage de la mer rouge is Rossini’s adaptation of his Neapolitan Mosè in Egitto for the Paris Opéra. This revision may be the epitome of…

The Golden Cockerel at the Aix Festival

It was Rimsky Korsakov’s last opera, his 1907 masterpiece Le Coq d’Or in one fell swoop (no intermission). In Aix Pushkin’s poetic Tzar Dodon met his fate, his head smashed,…

Apocalypse and Combat in Aix

Pierre Audi’s 2021 Aix Festival included two small pieces that continue the Festival’s operatic exploration of the larger Mediterranean world, meanwhile connecting the Festival’s general director to his Lebanese roots.…

Le nozze di Figaro at the Aix Festival

Mozart meets hysteria in this new staging of his masterpiece by Dutch metteur en scène Lotte de Beer, to the quick and just baton of conductor Thomas Hengelbrock and his Balthaser…

Innocence at the Aix Festival

This was the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s new opera that will come soon to Helsinki, Amsterdam, London, New New York and San Francisco, its co-commissioners. Finland born composer Saariaho…

Tristan und Isolde at the Aix Festival

Soprano Nina Stemme, tenor Stuart Skelton, bass Franz-Josef Selig and conductor Simon Rattle create a Tristan of transcendent music in a revelatory staging by Simon Stone. The London Symphony Orchestra…

Falstaff at the Aix Festival

It was inevitable. If stage director Barrie Kosky famously ravaged Wagner’s only comedy at Bayreuth, then he must do the same to Verdi’s only comedy. It happened just now in…