Good stuff here! A big bravo to each of you!

W. A. Mozart: “Madamina, il catalogo è questo”” from Don Giovanni
Denis Bourakov, Principal Flute, Los Angeles Philharmonic
Eugene Izotov, Principal Oboe, San Francisco Symphony
Recorded in Seoul, Korea / San Francisco, USA

08. April 2020 · Comments Off on Virtual Opera · Categories: Can't Stop the Music!, CovidTimes, Opera · Tags: , ,

We’ve had virtual orchestras and choruses, but surely one can’t do an OPERA when everyone is stuck at their own home?

Or CAN you?


The Marriage of Figaro Finale
W.A. Mozart
Susanna – Elena Villalón
Figaro – Daniel Noyola
Countess – Dorothy Gal
Count – Ryan McKinny
Cherubino – Megan Samarin
Basilio/Curzio – Trey Smagur
Marcellina – Leia Lensing and Lindsay Kate Brown
Antonio – William Guanbo Su
Bartolo – Nicholas Newton and Geoff Hahn
Piano – Geoffrey Loff

Make a donation to the AGMA Relief Fund & Artist Relief Tree to support artists today! Donate online at Thank you to our partners Opera for Peace and Lenny’s Studio.

07. April 2020 · Comments Off on Opera San Jose streaming Idomeneo · Categories: Can't Stop the Music!, CovidTimes · Tags: ,

Opera San Jose will be streaming the Mozart opera Idomeneo. Read about it below. And yes, I played in the Opera San Jose orchestra (we are members of the company).

Here is the info:

Beginning April 18 and available through May 18, OSJ invites you to view a FREE live stream viewing of its breathtaking 2011 production of Mozart’s first dramatic masterpiece, the rarely produced Idomeneo: ré di Creta. Hailed as “arguably the most extravagant production ever at Opera San José,” (ArtsSF) this lavish realization of Idomeneo featured a cast of 73 singers, with 41 chorus members, 14 ballet dancers, 180 Cretan costumes, and an elaborate three-story-high set inspired by Crete’s ancient history. This production truly encapsulates the artistry, musicality, and experience of the dedicated professionals that OSJ’s Artists and Musicians Relief Fund is currently supporting during this unprecedented time. Donate now to continue to support our artist, musicians and artisans.

Jointly produced with the Packard Humanities Institute, which generously underwrote the production and all rights for continued sharing online, this rarely presented, larger-than-life work features ground-breaking performances by artists who have since gone on to international fame, dance segments by choreographer Dennis Nahat performed by the Ballet San Jose (which ceased operations in 2016), and an orchestra conducted by world-famed Mozart interpreter George Cleve (who passed away in 2015). It was met with critical acclaim, with The Mercury News calling it a “jaw-dropping, must-see production,” and the San Francisco Chronicle applauding the company’s “vividly colorful” execution mixed “with a keen sense of Mozartean style.”


Performance date: September 8, 2011

Conductor: George Cleve
Stage Director: Brad Dalton
Choreographer: Denis Nahat
Set Design: Steven C. Kemp
Costume Designer: Johann Stegmeir
Lighting Designer: Christopher Ostrom


Ilia: Rebecca Davis
Idamante: Aaron Blake
Elettra: Christina Major
Arbace: Nova Safo
Nettuno: Paul Gemignani
Idomeneo: Christopher Bengochea
High Priest: Mathew Edwardsen
The Voice: Silas Elash

18. May 2016 · Comments Off on Luisotti Leaving · Categories: Announcements, Conductors, Opera, San Francisco Opera · Tags: , ,

San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti today announced that he will step down from his position at the end of his current contract, which expires on July 31, 2018. Mr. Luisotti, age 55, will continue to serve as San Francisco Opera music director through the 2017–18 Season. Today’s announcement was made in the War Memorial Opera House theater before the full company of staff, musicians, chorus, dancers and crew.


06. May 2008 · Comments Off on And More … · Categories: Links, Opera, Ramble · Tags:

Variations on an opera theme must be in the air today … I just read this:

The Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, best known for producing classical European operas for almost 60 years, is breaking new ground with an original hip hopera production on Wednesday.

Soprano Teiya Kasahara, baritone Justin Welsh, pianist Liz Upchurch, plus local rap DJs lil Jaz and T.R.A.C.K.S. composed the work in hip-hop beat mode, rather than operatic orchestration and vocals.

Their new work, “Hip Hopera”, is a story about the challenges faced by an interracial couple.

So now we also have “hip hopera”.

Shall we invent other operas? Anyone want to jump in here?

Of course there’s always ObOpera … which consists of only oboists. Everyone’s dream, I know.