Review: ‘Aida’ at SF Opera (****)

by Charles Kruger So, the first thing to know about “Aida” is that it is one of the most popular operas ever written, with thousands of performances, all over the world. In terms of spectacle, story, sweep, and grandeur it is the very definition of “opera” — from its most sublime to its most silly. […]

Review: ‘Andrea Chénier’ at SF Opera (****1/2)

by Charles Kruger Responding to the great romantic masterpieces of the likes of Verdi and Wagner, opera composers, like their literary contemporaries, turned from romance to realism, creating the movement called “opera verismo” — true-to-life opera stories, with music that emphasized character and realism. By modern standards, the masterpieces of “opera verismo” (think of Carmen or […]