Articles by Philip Hodge

The Makropulos Case Review – Karita Mattila stars in the role of a 337-year old woman

The Makropulos Case Review – Karita Mattila stars in the role of a 337-year old woman The story of Elina Makropulos is a strange one. She was born in 1537 in Greece . . . . [she would] live for three hundred years without ageing

Tosca at Opera San Jose Review – The Ultimate Opera

Tosca at Opera San Jose Review – The Ultimate Opera Tosca at its best is THE essential tragic opera. And yet, Tosca is not like any other opera.

The Marriage of Figaro – An intimate production

The Marriage of Figaro – An intimate production I enjoyed it tremendously. The music was the same. The performers were different but the characters were the same. The language was the different but this one was simply a translation of that one. But it was a totally different experience.

Cyrano de Bergerac Review - Plácido Domingo sticks his nose into San Francisco

Cyrano de Bergerac Review - Plácido Domingo sticks his nose into San Francisco I was excited about the San Francisco Opera performance of Cyrano de Bergerac because I was going to hear Plácido Domingo live

Madama Butterfly Review - Svetla Vassileva Superstars in a Superstar Production

Madama Butterfly Review - Svetla Vassileva Superstars in a Superstar Production I have just seen my best-ever performance of "Madama Butterfly" at San Francisco Opera

La Forza del Destino Review - A Gripping Story of Honor, Love, Revenge, and Redemption

La Forza del Destino Review - A Gripping Story of Honor, Love, Revenge, and Redemption The plot of La Forza del Destino is really very simple. Leonora and Don Alvaro are in love. Alvaro kills Leonora’s father and brother. He sends Leonora to her dying brother who kills her. Of course, there are some extenuating circumstances . . . .

Rheingold Review - MetHD

Rheingold Review - MetHD The theater lights dim, the audience becomes quiet. There is an air of expectancy in the CinéArts @ Palo Alto Square Theatre where at 10 AM Saturday morning the giant screen is ready to show the 1 pm performance at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center New York City.

Figaro Review – You Walk out Humming and Chuckling

Figaro Review – You Walk out Humming and Chuckling If the characters all live happily ever after
and the audience leaves the theater humming and chuckling,
who can ask for more? All that is true of the San Francisco Opera production of Figaro

Aida Review - A New Definition of Spectacular

Aida Review - A New Definition of Spectacular "Aida" was spectacular at the War Memorial Stadium and at AT&T park

Werther Review – Beautiful Franco-German Gloom

Werther Review – Beautiful Franco-German Gloom I just saw "Werther" and was surprised at the similarities to "Anna Karenina"

Anna Karenina Review-19th Century Russian Soul with 21st Century American Music

Anna Karenina Review-19th Century Russian Soul with 21st Century American Music For this incredible opera, I need a new vocabulary

Wagner's Ring (Valencia) Review – Exciting Technology

Wagner's Ring (Valencia) Review – Exciting Technology If all goes well for me during the coming 2010-11 operatic season, it will be the Year of the Ring.

La Traviata (Fremont Opera) Review – A summer of Camellias

La Traviata (Fremont Opera) Review – A summer of Camellias Last night I attended my sixth performance of La Traviata this summer, this one by the Fremont Opera. And every time there were tears in my eyes as the orchestra played the final notes of Act III.

Norma Review – Hanky-Panky in ancient Gaul

Norma Review – Hanky-Panky in ancient Gaul When the opera opens, she has been High Priestess for ten or so years and apparently no one except her personal slave Clotilde knows that she has...

Pirates of Penzance Review - Lamplighters Music Theater Comes to the Peninsula

Pirates of Penzance Review - Lamplighters Music Theater Comes to the Peninsula The Lamplighters Music Theatre has been producing Gilbert & Sullivan operas in San Francisco since 1852. Their production of Pirates of Penzance is a treat

Carmen Opera Review – Elina Garanča Gives New Meaning to “Sexy”

Carmen Opera Review – Elina Garanča Gives New Meaning to  “Sexy” But Carmen. Ah, Carmen. There’s a gal worth composing for

Turandot Review – The Prince of Tartary raises stupidity to a new height - or should I say depth?. But Love (and Puccini) conquers all.

Turandot Review – The Prince of Tartary raises stupidity to a new height  -  or should I say depth?.  But Love (and Puccini) conquers all. In most Grand Opera the lead male character is fairly stupid - the Prince of Tartary (we don’t know until the last act that his name is Calàf) raises stupidity to a new height (depth?).

La Bohème Review – To Cry or Not to Cry

La Bohème Review – To Cry or Not to Cry You win some (the marvelous La Traviata I saw last week, for example) and you lose some. But if the Met Encores this performance again...

Pocket Opera La Traviata Review – Even smaller is even better

Pocket Opera La Traviata Review – Even smaller is even better Yesterday as the final quiet chords were played by the piano and eight-piece orchestra of Pocket Opera, I was not just emotionally “satisfied”. I was emotionally saturated, emotionally drained, emotionally exhausted

Cosi Fan Tutti & Don Giovanni Review – Mozart takes a hit

Cosi Fan Tutti & Don Giovanni Review – Mozart takes a hit Going to an Emerging Pictures' European HD performance is frequently an adventure. One of the strangest adventures is what Claus Guth does to Mozart at the Salzburg Festival

Eugene Onegin Review - Something is different

Eugene Onegin Review - Something is different Regarding the Met HD "Eugene Onegin" production, San Francisco Splash operanut questions - Is it me? Is it this particular production? Is it Met HD?

Roméo et Juliette Review – A very mixed reaction

Roméo et Juliette Review – A very mixed reaction My high expectations for the Met HD performance of Roméo et Juliette were not realized largely due to not having an intermission and technical problems

Simon Boccanegra Review – Plácido Domingo as the Doge of Genoa

Simon Boccanegra Review – Plácido Domingo as the Doge of Genoa Simon Boccanegra at La Scala is a must see

Armida and Rinaldo Review – or The Crusader and the Magician

Armida and Rinaldo Review – or The Crusader and the Magician Although the story is the same, Pocket Opera’s production of Handel’s Rinaldo is unimaginably different from Armida. In fact, Donald Pippin’s productions of any of Handel’s operas are in a class by themselves

Girl of the Golden West Review - Reactions to Puccini's "Oater"

Girl of the Golden West Review - Reactions to Puccini's "Oater" Though there is no such thing as a "bad" Puccini opera, some are more familiar than others-this was better than I expected

Die Walküre Review – Part II of Wagner’s Ring Cycle closes the Opera nut's Marathon

Die Walküre Review – Part II of Wagner’s Ring Cycle closes the Opera nut's Marathon Die Walküre-Part II of Wagner’s Ring Cycle closes the Opera nut’s marathon of 5 operas in 6 days. He deserves a medal

La Vie Parisienne Review – Offenbach is often back with Pocket Opera

La Vie Parisienne Review – Offenbach is often back with Pocket Opera With Pocket Opera, Offenbach is often back, to the delight of its audience

Faust in San Francisco Review - The Opera Nut Goes To San Francisco

Faust  in San Francisco Review - The Opera Nut Goes To San Francisco Ten years is too long to stay away from the San Francisco Opera and
the Opera nut decided that it was time to review not one, but three operas. Be sure to check these reviews

La Traviata Review - Getting It Right

La Traviata Review - Getting It Right I approached West Bay Opera's performance of La Traviata with cautious optimism and was more than delighted with what I experienced

La Rondine Review - Twice is Nice

La Rondine Review - Twice is Nice San Francisco Splash's Operanut shares his thoughts on productions of La Rondine at Pocket Opera and Opera San Jose. He saw both in one weekend

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