Review: Puccini’s ‘Manon Lescaut’ at SF Opera (***)

by Charles Kruger Lianna Haroutounian as Manon and Brian Jagde as the Chevalier des Grieux in SF Opera’s production of Puccini’s first great success, “Manon Lescaut.” Photo Credit: Cory Weaver/SF Opera. Much less familiar than Puccini’s “big three” masterpieces (La Boheme, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly), Manon Lescaut was the composer’s first great success. The story […]

Review: SF Opera presents “Madame Butterfly” (****)

by Charles Kruger Liana Haroutounian is unquestionably a great diva gifted with a magnificent instrument, insightful musicianship, and exceptional acting talent. But fans who recall her remarkable SF Opera debut as Tosca in 2014 could hardly be blamed for wondering whether she could be equally successful as the demur  and sorrowful Cio-Cio-San. Well, put all doubts to rest. Harotounian is […]