By Sean

Adrianne Pieczonka and Lado Ataneli. Photo, Cory Weaver

SF Opera’s Tosca, Porgy and Bess, and Don Giovanni to screen at Sundance Kabuki Cinema beginning 3/3

San Francisco Opera partners with Sundance Cinemas to present HD screenings of the Company’s acclaimed productions of Puccini’s Tosca, George and Ira Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post Street, San Francisco. The three productions are among the most popular in the Company’s Grand Opera Cinema Series. […]

Lorena Feijoo and Vitor Luiz in Caniparoli's Tears. Photo, Erik Tomasson

Val Caniparoli’s “Tears” – A World Premiere at San Francisco Ballet

“The dance begins with a brief loop of rainfall, which is then taken over by an effervescent and repeating pattern of cascading harmonies played on an electronic organ. Up-stage center, the lights are focused on Lorena Feijóo as she advances toward the audience. The steady pulses begin changing slightly providing additional luster as the melodies […]

PAUL JACOBS. Photo, Felix Broede

A Conversation with Organist Paul Jacobs – at Davies Hall, 2/17

Bay Area fans of organ concerts feel a sense of celebration whenever Paul Jacobs is in town. The best of The Best is back. This coming Sunday afternoon at Davies Symphony Hall, Mr. Jacobs will be working the magnificent Ruffatti organ through an Olympian program that includes Bach’s Sinfonia to Cantata No. 29, followed by […]

SY SMITH. Photo, Mike Quaint

SY SMITH – Just the Thought of You

Sy Smith is one of the most versatile and compelling vocal artists anywhere around. She drives through the fast lanes of contemporary music and then hovers with ease over a vintage standard. With her multi-octave vocal range, Sy can stretch an improvisation to the starry heights. She is likewise very grounded in her own recording […]

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. Photo, Christian Schneider

Donizetti’s “Rita” – An Interview with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

“We have programmed the most politically incorrect opera in the most politically correct area of the country!” said music director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, referring to the New Century Chamber Orchestra’s up-coming production of Rita, ou Le mari battu (Rita, or The Beaten Husband). It’s true. Some may see the political shenanigans in Die Walküre as running […]

Dicterow-DeMaine-Biegel Piano Trio

Launching the Dicterow-DeMaine-Biegel Piano Trio: Old School Genius in the 21st Century

“In the world of Classical music, one of the most exciting developments of 2013 is pianist Jeffrey Biegel’s very recent announcement of the formation of a new piano trio consisting of himself, violinist Glenn Dicterow and cellist Robert deMaine. It might seem an impossible dream come true, but one that is clearly hand-in-glove with la […]

ZUILL BAILEY, CD Cover. Courtesy of Telarc

Zuill Bailey Triumphs in New Recording of Benjamin Britten’s Cello Symphony and Sonata

“Composer Benjamin Britten’s 2013 centenary sparked performances of his many-varied works around the globe. His catalogue of operas, orchestral and chamber works, song cycles and more were programmed everywhere, some of the material being tagged as rare or seldom performed. Early last February, cellist Zuill Bailey appeared with Music Director Grant Llewellyn and the North […]

JEANETTE MacDONALD (Jimmy Conlin in background). Rose-Marie (1936)

JEANETTE MacDONALD and The Great American Songbook, Pt. 1 — Close encounters with “Dinah” and “Some of These Days”

As Janet and I continue our front row view of films that include some variety of nightclub scene featuring – as Rosemary Clooney might put it, “girl singers” – we are also keeping an eye on how much of this material is appearing in an expanding archive referred to these days as, The Great American […]

ETHEL WATERS, 4

Ethel Waters survives Monaco and Dubin’s “Quicksands” in Stage Door Canteen

Ethel Waters is on a very long list of popular and revered celebrities who appear in the 1943 film, Stage Door Canteen. The title refers to an actual New York City location that was staffed and operated by members of the American Theatre Wing. Its purpose was to offer refreshments and entertainment to enlisted folks […]

Natalie Dessay

Natalie Dessay on ‘Becoming Traviata’—French Soprano says Adieu to the Operatic Stage

“My voice was very tiny. I had to work like a dog. But for me, it was the only way to get on stage quickly and be able to play. It was always said that I have the voice of an angel, but I’m really a witch. It’s a real problem. And the more I’m aging, the more it is a problem. Remember, I am an actress. I don’t want to play myself. I want to play other people.”