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…

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…

ROF Streams Rossini’s
La cambiale di matrimonio

The Rossini festival of Rossini’s hometown, Pesaro, streams the premiere of its new production of La cambiale di matrimonio, Rossini’s second opera on August 8 (and briefly “on demand” after).

Salzburg Elektra premiere to be streamed

Stage director Krzysztof Warlikowski offers a happy ending, he hints, to Richard Strauss’ monumental tragedy Elektra at the Salzburg Festival, streamed live at its premiere on August 1 from the Felsenreitscchule at 5 PM Central European Time.

The Two Summer Festivals That Can

Against all odds the festivals of Salzburg and Rossini’s Pesaro are forging ahead this summer with real, live opera, though the limited programs and scarcity of tickets may discourage us from journeying to Austria or Italy in August. Would that we could!