Articles by Philip Hodge

Princess Ida Review – Lamplighters do it again

Princess Ida Review  – Lamplighters do it again Rick Williams does not play the part of King Gama; he IS King Gama

Tosca Review – All Toscas are above Average

Tosca Review – All Toscas are above Average The instant Tosca sees the knife she becomes a changed woman. A plan has been conceived in an instant. She picks up the knife with a gleam of triumph and sprawls on the couch in a suggestive pose with a seductive smile on her face

A Very Small Fledermaus – Student Production Captures the Magic

A Very Small Fledermaus – Student Production Captures the Magic I laughed longer and louder yesterday than I can recall doing for many a moon; the singing and the dialog were in English, and the diction of all of the singers was so good that only in retrospect did I realize that there were no supertitles

Fledermaus Review – Happy Hour at Opera San José

Fledermaus Review  – Happy Hour at Opera San José IF you live anywhere near San Jose California, and IF you like any of opera, light opera, operetta, or musicals, THEN run, do not walk, to the OSJ web site and order your tickets to see Cast I perform Der Fledermaus on Nov. 17,20, or 25

Lohengrin Review – Classic Wagner at its Best

Lohengrin Review – Classic Wagner at its Best The overture to Act III begins with the familiar Wedding March and the curtain rises to reveal a perfect gem of a bridal suite suspended in a jet-black infinity

Moby Dick Review – Thrilling Interpretation of a Classic American Novel

Moby Dick Review – Thrilling Interpretation of a Classic American Novel "When I read the book I realized how essentially musical and operatic it is -- the music was already there -- I could hear musical textures, rhythms, orchestral and vocal colors" -- Jake Heggie, Composer

Hoffmann Review – West Bay Opera presents a wonderfully integrated production

Hoffmann  Review – West Bay Opera presents a wonderfully integrated production When I asked Rochelle Barr why she decided to sing all four roles whereas most sopranos opt for only one, she replied, “I want to become another Joan Sutherland;” she’s not there yet, but don’t bet against her over the next few years

Capulets and Montagues Review – Shakespeare it Ain’t

Capulets and Montagues Review – Shakespeare it Ain’t Totally and wonderfully dominated by Joyce DiDonato's Romeo and Nicole Cabell's Giuliette; brilliantly conducted by Maestro Riccardo Frizza. It was an evening to remember.

Mikado Review II – Memories

Mikado Review  II – Memories The D'Oyly-Carte Opera Company came to New York in 1936 when I was in high school, and we took the train into the city every Friday to see ten of the G&S operettas

Rigoletto Review – SFO’s Stunning Setting of Verdi’s Masterpiece

Rigoletto Review – SFO’s Stunning Setting of Verdi’s Masterpiece The menacing overture begins. With a crashing chord the curtain rises to show a dimly lighted arcade – Another chord and the scene is flooded with an intense red light – With the third there is instantaneous brilliant white light –

The Pearl Fishers Review –Bizet’s other Opera

The Pearl Fishers Review  –Bizet’s other Opera Baritone Zurga, tenor Nadir, and soprano Leila are on a tropical island called Ceylon sometime in the distant past. The two men are each hopelessly in love with Leila; she has eyes only for Nadir. The classic Eternal Triangle – with complications

Mikado Review I – Lamplighters will Leave You Humming and Laughing

Mikado Review  I – Lamplighters will Leave You Humming and Laughing My anticipation grew as I walked into the theatre for the Piano Tech Rehearsal Friday night August 10, 2012 and viewed the open stage with its magnificent construction

Der Rosenkavalier MetHD Review – It gets better every time I see it

Der Rosenkavalier   MetHD Review – It gets better every time I see it We are in old Vienna during the reign of Maria Theresa and Octavian, a young Viennese blade, is crawling out of the Marschallin’s bed

Postcard from Morocco Review - Unity out of Chaos

Postcard from Morocco Review - Unity out of Chaos Forty-one years ago I attended the World Premiere of Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco - when I found out that Merola was presenting it, I jumped at the chance

Magic Flute SFO Review – A 21st Century Production that Works

Magic Flute SFO Review – A 21st Century Production that Works "I hope to understand what the composer and librettist wish to communicate with their original work and then interpret it in a way that is at once vital . . clear . . exciting and entertaining" - Harry Silverstein, Director

Attila SFO Review – Not Verdi’s best, but the music was beautiful

Attila SFO Review – Not Verdi’s best, but the music was beautiful Any way you look at it, Attila is not your usual opera; to begin with, there is only one woman principal in the cast – but what a woman

Teseo Review - Donald Pippin’s Pocket Opera does it again.

Teseo Review - Donald Pippin’s Pocket Opera does it again. Ten years ago Medea, the famed sorceress, had a spectacular day in which, to punish her faithless lover, she murdered their two small children, set fire to her successful rival and poisoned the girl's aged father - what will she do for an encore?

Pocket Opera’s Tales of Hoffmann Review – Worth Seeing Twice

Pocket Opera’s Tales of Hoffmann Review – Worth Seeing Twice There are many things about Tales of Hoffman which are unusual (if not unique) among operas - I can best describe them by first giving you a condensed version of the plot

Norma, Pocket Opera Review – Pocket Production of a Melodious Eternal Triangle

Norma, Pocket Opera Review – Pocket Production of a Melodious Eternal Triangle A high priestess in an austere religious order whose vows include that of chastity is in love with a leader of the enemy, and has even born him two children, a fact long kept secret, God only knows how. But a crisis is in the offing - -

Nixon in China SFO Review – Operatic version of an important moment in history

Nixon in China SFO Review – Operatic version of an important moment in history As the overture reaches a climax, an image of the plane Air Force One hurtles across the screen from left to right, touching down for its landing and rapidly disappearing in the mist

Aida Review – West Bay Opera presents a gem of a production

Aida  Review – West Bay Opera presents a gem of a production An intimate story of four people: with an inner conflict between love and patriotism, and the first 3 forming the eternal triangle – with complications; out of such stuff is great drama created

Ruddigore Review I – Stanford Savoyards present an afternoon of eerie fun

Ruddigore Review I – Stanford Savoyards present an afternoon of eerie fun Ruddigore is not as well known as some of the other Gilbert and Sullivan operas – which is a shame, because it is full of catchy tunes, clever words, and a comic twist to provide a happy ending

Ruddigore Review II – Stanford Savoyards complete their afternoon of eerie fun

Ruddigore Review II – Stanford Savoyards complete their afternoon of eerie fun “What’s in a name?” asks the Bard; in Act I we knew Robin Oakapple as a painfully shy farm lad - until he was revealed to be Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, the evil baronet of Ruddigore; it’s hard to believe that he is really the same person

La Traviata MetHD Review – Minimalism Carried Too Far

La Traviata   MetHD Review – Minimalism Carried Too Far I was willing to grant that the director was doing a good job with his interpretation – even if I didn’t like the interpretation. But when Death opened his mouth to sing Dr. Grenvil’s words, I was totally confused

FAUST Review – Opera San Jose produces a sensitive interpretation of the classic legend

FAUST Review  – Opera San Jose produces a sensitive interpretation of the classic legend Faust may not be my favorite opera, but it’s high on the list of operas that I don’t get tired of

Manon MetHD Review – Another Winner for Anna Netrebko

Manon MetHD Review – Another Winner for Anna Netrebko Manon is an opera that grows on me. I like it and appreciate it more every time I see it

Count Ory Review – Pocket Opera and Rossini produce a comic masterpiece

Count Ory Review – Pocket Opera and Rossini produce a comic masterpiece People who enjoy Rossini’s Count Ory would also enjoy the Marx Brother’s A Night at the Opera

Pirates of Penzance Singalong Review – Fun: Pure unadulterated fun.

Pirates of Penzance Singalong Review – Fun: Pure unadulterated fun. We’re counting on you for all of the chorus parts, of course. But feel free to accompany any or all of the soloists. Gender is no barrier. What’s a couple of octaves between friends?

Yanked from the Harem Review – Pocket Opera’s interpretation of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio

Yanked from the Harem Review – Pocket Opera’s interpretation of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio As I sat down in seat G2 5 minutes before curtain time, I noticed something different about the stage: there was no piano!

LA TRAVIATA II – Further Thoughts after seeing 2 more (complete) Performances

LA   TRAVIATA  II  – Further Thoughts after seeing 2 more (complete) Performances Here’s the Opera Nut again with a few more thoughts after two weeks and two complete performances of La Traviata

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