Radamisto in Palo Alto (CA)

In some ways the Philharmonia Baroque’s Radamisto did not disappoint San Francisco Bay Area’s Handel fans.  Handel is no stranger at San Francisco’s esteemed Philnarmonia Baroque Orchestra, just now it…

West Side Story in San Jose (CA)

No one can deny that Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story is one of the bigger moments in twentieth century theater. Its movies may be Oscar worthy films, but finally its…

“Family Secrets” in Lyon (Trauernacht)

Some years ago British stage director Katie Mitchell, with French early music conductor Raphaël Pichon concocted a dramatic action based on fragments of cantatas by J.S. Bach for the Aix Festival. Here it was again, in Lyon’s historic, spoken word Théâtre des Célestins (above photo).

A Quiet Place at the Palais Garnier

A Quiet Place has come of age, thirty-nine years later. In 1983 much of its subject matter was sensitive, even taboo. As well it dwelt on naked emotional histories that…

“Family Secrets”* in Lyon (Irrelohe)

Irrelohe. An orchestral orgy — triple winds, quadruple brass though six horns, two harps, organ, celeste, guitar, mandolins, an eighth player percussion battery plus tympani and strings. Libretto and music…

“Family Secrets”* at the Opéra de Lyon (Rigoletto)

Rigoletto. Docudrama of a father whose wife dies in childbirth, raises daughter who falls in love with a selfish, debauched hoodlum. Show curtain is block apartment lighted windows. And they…

Werther in Marseille

The Opéra de Marseille assembled a fine cast to perform the Massenet masterpiece in a prize winning production from Nancy. Bordeaux tenor Thomas Bettinger poured his heart out as the…

Pelléas et Mélisande in Montpellier

A third staging of French stage director Benjamin Lazar’s poetic and sophisticated production (Malmö in 2017 and Karlsruhe in 2019), highly refined in Montpellier by an early music tenor as…

Werther in Monte-Carlo

A superb cast, an inspired maestro, an intimate theater, an operatic masterpiece (the eighteenth of Massenet’s thirty-six operas), Werther in Monte-Carlo was a thrilling bombardment of emotional crises.  From the…

Les Vêpres Siciliennes in Palermo

Ossia I Vespri Siciliani takes its name from the evening prayer to which the faithful are called by the ringing of bells. Specifically the bells of Verdi’s Sicilian vespers signal…