November 16, 1992 |
And now, from the folks who brought you "Nixon in China". . . . The opera, of course, is "The Death of Klinghoffer," a rambling, quasi-moralistic sociopolitical treatise with semi-minimalist music by John Adams and a self-consciously poetic libretto by Alice Goodman.
April 1, 2013 |
SAN DIEGO - Devout opera companies caring to connect with Holy Week easily can. Along with the obvious choice of Wagner's "Parsifal," contemporary composers such as Harrison Birtwistle ("The Last Supper") and John Adams ("The Gospel According to the Other Mary") have been contributing to the cause. On Easter Eve, San Diego Opera looked a little further afield, however, by offering the first major American production of Ildebrando Pizzetti's "Murder in the Cathedral" at Civic Theatre.
January 24, 1992 |
The ambitious new "Carmen" staged by Nuria Espert at the Music Center Opera on Wednesday began ominously. The curtain rose prematurely (modern directors cannot bear to have the audience listen to the orchestra) to disclose what turned out to be an all-purpose set with a pretty lady in white framed in an arch. The pretty lady turned out to be the tempestuous heroine. Alone on the empty stage, Carmen cautiously traipsed forward to the strains of the fate motive, then doubled over.
February 10, 1992 |
Figaro, the baritonal barber of Seville, got married again, Saturday night at the Civic Theatre. It was a nice wedding. As its final contribution to the official season of Mozartean delirium, the San Diego Opera mustered something old (the work itself) but little new; something borrowed (sets, staging scheme and costumes) but little blue (apart from a dubious bit of would-be comedy in which Basilio sniffed Susanna's underwear). This, essentially, was "Le Nozze di Figaro" by the book.
September 10, 1991 |
The opera season opened here on Friday with a routine "Traviata" surrounded by gala glitz. That, it turned out, was just foreplay. The real, victorious action began on Saturday, when Lotfi Mansouri & Co. celebrated the Prokofiev centenary with the first local staging of a massive, sprawling, rarely ventured opus called "Voina y Mir." It is better known in the West as "War and Peace." Did I say massive? The score demands a vast orchestra and a heroic chorus.
April 16, 1990 |
The program magazine at the Civic Theatre on Saturday heralded Mozart's "Magic Flute." But the San Diego Opera presented no such thing. For better or worse--probably worse--this was "Die Zauberflote." It was performed with even more German dialogue than one normally encounters in American houses. Ironically, there wasn't a single German on the stage. There cannot have been many Germans out front.