Review: ‘Billy Budd’ presented by San Francisco Opera at War Memorial Opera House (*****)

by Charles Kruger In their publicity material promoting their wonderful and deeply moving production of the opera, “Billy Budd,” SF Opera provides this summary: “Meet Billy. He’s handsome, honest and good. He’s also doomed.” That is accurate and it brings to mind the obvious question: why should such a wonderful young man be doomed? What […]

Review: ‘Siegfried’ at SF Opera

by Charles Kruger Musicologists have noted that the four opera Ring cycle might be considered analogous to a traditional Classical symphony: the first (“Das Rheingold”) being an exposition of themes, the second (“Die Walkure”) a traditionally slow movement, the third (“Siegfried”) a light scherzo movement, and the last (“Gotterdammerrung”) a grand dramatic finale. The point […]

Review: “La Traviata” at SF Opera (**1/2)

by¬† Charles Kruger Sometimes a souffl√™ just won’t rise. “La Traviata” boasts one of the loveliest scores in the entire Verdi repertoire with soaring melodies, thrilling orchestrations, charming choruses, and exquisite opportunities for bel canto singing. But, even the loveliest music and most enticing story requires some commitment on the part of the artists to […]