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West Edge’s ‘Frankenstein’ is a total stiff

There’s just one engaging three-minute segment in the unfortunate production of Libby Larsen’s “Frankenstein” that opened Saturday night at the West Edge Opera, but it’s a dazzler. Morgan does his signature [Read entire story]

New leadership, but familiar flavors, for Cabrillo Festival

During the opening weekend of the two-week festival — a pair of ingratiating, sometimes stirring, orchestral concerts in the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium — you sometimes had to look carefully at the program book to be [Read entire story]

‘Cenerentola’ served up with laughs and poignancy

For a combination of poignant emotion and flat-out comedic brilliance, you can’t do much better than “La Cenerentola,” Rossini’s rollicking operatic take on the old Cinderella story. [...] there was something [Read entire story]

Gilbert and Sullivan, without a happy ending

If you’re a literalist whose objection to Gilbert and Sullivan operettas is how swiftly and tidily the plot complications get ironed out, with a logical paradox or a leap-year birthday, then “The Yeomen of the [Read entire story]

Bach Soloists celebrate the English tradition

For centuries, England had a bad rap as a cultural backwater where music was concerned; one supercilious German epithet that stuck dubbed it “The Land Without Music.” The opening program also includes Handel’s [Read entire story]

Bach, ‘Well-Tempered Clavier,’ Book 1

The preludes and fugues that make up Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” operate on multiple levels at once — they’re a compilation of techniques for keyboard writing, a polemic on the subject of tuning and a master [Read entire story]

Dangerous operatic seductions in Santa Fe

SANTA FE, N.M. — To spend a couple of consecutive nights at the Santa Fe Opera over the weekend was to get a crash course in the unnerving power of female sexuality, at least as conceived by the male imagination. The [Read entire story]

Steve Jobs comes alive, in all his contradictions, in new opera

SANTA FE, N.M. — Near the beginning of “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs,” the new opera by composer Mason Bates and librettist Mark Campbell about the co-founder and longtime head of Apple, comes a scene of such [Read entire story]

Merola artists shine in marriage-themed triple bill

Even if you’re just after good value for your operatic dollar, the excellent new production by the Merola Opera Program is hard to beat: not one, not two, but three one-act works, all available for the price of a [Read entire story]

The violin takes a bow in Music@Menlo celebration

Like the saxophone in jazz, the electric guitar in rock ’n’ roll or the accordion in polka, the violin established itself in the mid-17th century as the principal vehicle for Western classical music. [...] the 15th [Read entire story]

Love and war mix in talky ‘Hunter’

The title character in the new opera “Hunter,” which had its world premiere on Friday night, July 14, in the intimate confines of the Exit Theatre, would seem to have more than enough tribulations to justify her [Read entire story]

A historically informed take on Schumann

[...] what if hearing his work in a modern performance style, rather than on the 19th century instruments he would have known, gives a false or at least incomplete account of his legacy? The festival’s premise is to [Read entire story]

The stars are coming out in Napa

Festival Napa Valley, the annual summer shindig devoted to classical music, food and wine, has always been a gathering spot for stars. The world’s top violinists, singers and conductors are as eager as concertgoers to [Read entire story]

SF Symphony taps Mark Hanson as top exec

Hanson, 43, has spent seven years in Houston, where he has taken vigorous steps to expand the orchestra’s donor and subscriber base and to broaden the orchestra’s profile throughout the community. Among the [Read entire story]

Symphony season closes with dramatic ‘Romeo and Juliet’

In a performance recorded for a subsequent release on the orchestra’s in-house SFS Media Label, Thomas and his performing forces — not just the Symphony players themselves, but the members of Ragnar Bohlin’s [Read entire story]

An operatic double bill united in excellence

If you were dead set on finding a connective thread between the disparate parts of the operatic double bill that had a brief and dazzling run over the weekend at Walnut Creek’s Festival Opera, you could maybe say that [Read entire story]

SF Symphony’s frenetic free-for-all

There were dancers and singers, video projections and elaborate lighting cues, a funk band and a gamelan. “Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind,” Thomas’ own polystylistic setting of a Carl Sandburg meditation [Read entire story]

‘Volodos Plays Brahms’

Volodos Plays Brahms Brahms Classical If you were going to piano concerts a couple of decades back, you couldn’t possibly forget him, with his seemingly superhuman keyboard technique and penchant for mystical [Read entire story]

Petrenko, Bell team for enlightening Symphony concert

Pity the young composer who unveils his first major orchestral work — a Symphony No. 1, say — only to have it greeted by befuddlement, hostility or condescension. Written by a 22-year-old novice, the score is beset [Read entire story]

VIjay Iyer brings sprawling ‘jazz’ style to Ojai at Berkeley

The polymathic pianist and composer might as well be considered a jazz musician as anything else — but only if you consider “jazz” to be an infinitely expandable umbrella term that encompasses everything from [Read entire story]