Articles by Philip Hodge

SFO RING Review– PART III, HOW

SFO RING Review– PART III, HOW How Francesca Zambello, Director of the SFO Ring Series, manages two challenges which are not normally present in opera

SFO RING Review – PART II, WHO AND WHAT

SFO RING Review – PART II, WHO AND WHAT Here you will find a complete list of all the mythical and human characters in the Ring, along with a terse summary to remind you of the complex plot.

SFO RING Review – PART I, INTRODUCTION

SFO RING Review – PART I, INTRODUCTION In the course of 6 days I spent 17 hours watching and listening to San Francisco Opera's complete cycle of Wagner’s 4 operas known as the Ring. Here is Part I of a four-part review of the cycle as a whole.

Italian Girl in Algiers Review – Brave Heroine Rescues Helpless Hero from Fate Worse than Death

Italian Girl in Algiers Review – Brave Heroine Rescues Helpless Hero from Fate Worse than Death Pocket Opera's Italian Girl in Algiers has great music by Rossini, an improbable plot, and a really happy ending – the bad guys aren’t really bad, everyone on stage likes the outcome, and the audience leaves humming, chuckling, and feeling good

Die Walküre at the Met Review – Part II of Wagner’s epic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen

 Die Walküre at the Met Review – Part II of Wagner’s epic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen The Met HD production of Part II of Wagner’s epic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen is a must see in its encore performance on June 1st

Dido and Aeneas and La Vida Breve Review – Two short tragic operas form an interesting combination

Dido and Aeneas and La Vida Breve Review – Two short tragic operas form an interesting combination West Bay Opera's "Dido and Aeneas" by Henry Purcell and "La Vida Breve" by Manuel de Falla, similar and different were both thoroughly enjoyable

RIGOLETTO IN MANTUA Review - A movie shot live in the Duke’s hometown

RIGOLETTO IN MANTUA Review - A movie shot live in the Duke’s hometown In this European HD performance of Verdi's Rigoletto. Placido Domingo IS Rigoletto in a production filmed in Mantua, the real town where this took place

The Cat Transformed into a Woman Review – The last of two one-act operas separated by one intermission and millions of emotional miles

The Cat Transformed into a Woman Review – The last of two one-act operas separated by one intermission and millions of emotional miles The title role of a cat named Minette is shared by a cute little stuffed toy (silently) and later by the even cuter soprano Elise Kennedy (not silently)

Cavalleria Rusticana Review – The first of two one-act operas separated by one intermission and millions of emotional miles

Cavalleria Rusticana Review – The first of two one-act operas separated by one intermission and millions of emotional miles In it's 70 minutes, Pietro Mascagni’s "Cavalleria Rusticana" is challenged to present a beginning, a middle and an end

Il Trovatore Review – It all came together

Il Trovatore Review – It all came together I can’t recall ever witnessing a better opera performance than I saw this morning - everything came together: Verdi’s music, Amiliato’s conducting, the wonderful singers giving their all

Capriccio Review – Strauss’ Last Opera

Capriccio Review – Strauss’ Last Opera Capriccio is like a delicate soufflé. When it is done perfectly it is an almost transcendental experience. But let any small thing disturb its fragile perfection, and it would fall flat - the soufflé served up Saturday was yummy

La Bohème Review – Opera San Jose Produces a Winner

 La Bohème Review – Opera San Jose Produces a Winner And so Opera San Jose's production of La Boheme ends: beautiful, predictable, actions and music in sublime accord, lump growing in my throat, tears rolling down my cheeks - I could ask no more

Roland Petit’s Carmen Review- The Operanut Goes to the Ballet

Roland Petit’s Carmen Review- The Operanut Goes to the Ballet I saw the Ballet San Jose present Roland Petit’s Carmen, danced to the music of the familiar opera by Bizet and I was moved to write about it

Le Comte Ory – Rossini’s Last Opera is pure unadulterated joy

Le Comte Ory – Rossini’s Last Opera is pure unadulterated joy My enjoyment of the Met HD production of Rossini's "Le Comte Ory" began before Ms Fleming had finished her 60-second introduction delivered from back stage

Manon Review - A "Dinner with Donald" Event

Manon Review - A "Dinner with Donald" Event There is no question but that Erina Newkirk was the star of Pocket Opera's current production of "Manon

Kiss Me Lucia di la Mancha – A glorious musical weekend

Kiss Me Lucia di la Mancha – A glorious musical weekend What a fantastic 31 hours that included "Lucia di Lammermoor", "Kiss Me Kate" and "Man of La Mancha"

Iphigénie en Tauride Review – Gluck turns Euripedes play into a modern opera

Iphigénie en Tauride Review –  Gluck turns Euripedes play into a modern opera A truly dysfunctional royal family - the king sacrifices his daughter, the queen kills the king, the son kills the queen - Fifteen years later the overture to Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride starts

Lucia di Lammermoor Review - Mary Zimmerman’s Production is Still Tops

Lucia di Lammermoor Review -  Mary Zimmerman’s Production is Still Tops I can’t think of a better way to start my review of this 2011 performance than to quote in full the review I wrote two years ago of the same production with a different cast

LA TRAVIATA Review – Classic Opera at its Best

LA TRAVIATA Review – Classic Opera at its Best The Euro HD rendition of last year’s performance of "La Traviata" from the Royal Opera House in London reinforced previous experiences I have had

Elixir of Love Review – Potent Potion Produces Rare Riotous Romance

Elixir of Love Review – Potent Potion Produces Rare Riotous Romance If you enjoy light-hearted opera by such composers as Offenbach, Lehar, Gilbert and Sullivan, you are bound to like Donizetti’s "The Elixir of Love"

Turandot Review– A small opera company takes on a big opera – and produces a masterpiece

Turandot Review– A small opera company takes on a big opera – and produces a masterpiece I love West Bay Opera and was thrilled to find that their production of "Turandot" by Puccini more than held its own in comparison to the Met HD's performance

Nixon in China Review – John Adam\'s opera is relentless

Nixon in China Review –  John Adam\'s opera is relentless You may not necessarily enjoy "Nixon in China" by John Adams but you may be in danger of being ensnared or seduced by it

The Barber of Seville Review – Always delightful

The Barber of Seville Review – Always delightful How can anyone not like Rossini’s "The Barber of Seville"? I even enjoyed it twice at Opera San Jose

Yeoman of the Guard Review - Gilbert and Sullivan as Grand Opera

Yeoman of the Guard Review - Gilbert and Sullivan as Grand Opera My fear that "Yeoman of the Guard" by W. S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan would not live up to my anticipation did not materialize. I loved it

Carmen from Barcelona Review - No Harmony

Carmen from Barcelona Review - No Harmony When opera is good, the music and the actions on stage each complement the other. But here while the ear is hearing a tale of great emotion, grand passion, and eventual doom, the eye is viewing the pitiable comic on stage. There is no harmony

Girl of the Golden West Review – Deborah Voight is pure gold

Girl of the Golden West Review –  Deborah Voight is pure gold Inevitably, Puccini’s opera has been called an “oater”. I would sum up the Met production as pure grade A oats

Don Carlo Review - A Great Production on the Whole

Don Carlo Review - A Great Production on the Whole The music and singing were excellent throughout and despite minor flaws, the overall effect of Don Carlo was so powerful that defects were overshadowed

Cosi Fan Tutte from London Review – Mozart Reduced to Essentials

Cosi Fan Tutte from London Review – Mozart  Reduced to Essentials Dad explained to me that one shouldn’t take operatic characters too seriously; just enjoy the music and the comic situations they get themselves into

Das Rheingold HD La Scala Review - See It If You Can

Das Rheingold HD La Scala Review - See It If You Can Staging makes all the difference between this Emerging Pictures HD production of Das Rheingold from La Scala and the two previous performances I saw

Don Pasquale Review - Another MetHD Must See

Don Pasquale Review - Another MetHD Must See Have I convinced you to NOT go to the Encore performance on Wednesday, December 1 2010 at 6:30 local time? I hope not, because it is a wonderful performance and I am definitely planning to see it again. “Huh?” you ask. “How can you want to see it again when the story is so distasteful?”

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