Articles by Philip Hodge
How Francesca Zambello, Director of the SFO Ring Series, manages two challenges which are not normally present in opera
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.
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.
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
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
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
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 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)
In it's 70 minutes, Pietro Mascagni’s "Cavalleria Rusticana" is challenged to present a beginning, a middle and an end
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 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
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
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
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
There is no question but that Erina Newkirk was the star of Pocket Opera's current production of "Manon
What a fantastic 31 hours that included "Lucia di Lammermoor", "Kiss Me Kate" and "Man of La Mancha"
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
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
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
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"
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
You may not necessarily enjoy "Nixon in China" by John Adams but you may be in danger of being ensnared or seduced by it
How can anyone not like Rossini’s "The Barber of Seville"? I even enjoyed it twice at Opera San Jose
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
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
Inevitably, Puccini’s opera has been called an “oater”. I would sum up the Met production as pure grade A oats
The music and singing were excellent throughout and despite minor flaws, the overall effect of Don Carlo was so powerful that defects were overshadowed
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
Staging makes all the difference between this Emerging Pictures HD production of Das Rheingold from La Scala and the two previous performances I saw
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?”