Friday, July 29, 2005

Minor Fame

Yesterday when I got home, I found that a copy of a book called Reviewing the Arts, by Campbell Tichener, had arrived in the mail. It's described on the back cover this way:
Developed for those media writers assigned to review an artistic event or performance, Reviewing the Arts provides the tools a journalist needs to write informed and enlightened reviews of the arts. This useful text guides writers through the steps for producing an acceptable review of the fine and performing arts, covering the range of arts from film and television to drama and dance; from sculpture and architecture to music.

The book's intended as a journalism textbook, and this is its third edition.

I've got a copy because my review of the Berkeley Opera's Legend of the Ring, which ran last year in San Francisco Classical Voice, is discussed in the book, and in fact it's on page 4 - the first review quoted. It's in the context of a discussion of SFCV and its goals.

I'm tickled pink by this, especially since that was only my second professional review.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Doctor Atomic Cast Change

Playbill reports that San Francisco Opera has announced Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's withdrawal from Doctor Atomic on doctors' orders, because of a back injury. She's being replaced by Kristine Jepson.

Not much to say about this other than "Waaaaaah."

Monday, July 18, 2005

Berkeley Opera

My review of the Berkeley Opera potted Meistersinger will be up at SFCV tomorrow; suffice it to say that the performance is a mixed bag, but I heartily approve of the edition, which sends 90 minutes of overblown twaddle about the creation of "heil'ge Deutsche Kunst" straight into oblivion, leaving behind a less-ponderous opera that almost approaches wit.

My idea of an operatic comedy? Le Nozze di Figaro, say, or Falstaff. For that matter, the Ping/Pang/Pong music in Turandot is wittier than anything in Meistersinger.

And speaking of Falstaff, Berkeley Opera is performing Verdi's great masterpiece next season. I hope they have enough players and rehearsal time to put across the quicksilver orchestral writing, but what a pleasure it will be to see and hear it in the tiny Julia Morgan Theater, where the performers don't have to be larger than life to make an impression. The other offerings are equally interesting: a new work by Clark Suprynowicz and John O'Keefe, and an adaptation by the brilliant David Scott Marley of La Fanciulla del West. Considering his superb work on The Riot Grrrl on Mars, Bat Out of Hell, and other operas, I can't wait.