Sunday, May 03, 2020


Kalimac has been posting regularly about concerts missed because they were cancelled. Time for me to post a few missed performances myself.

  • Das Liebesverbot, Wagner; Pocket Opera. A great rarity, basically never done anywhere.
  • The Wreckers, Smith; Island City Opera. Another great rarity, possibly the west coast premiere.
  • The Cat Became a Woman (Offenbach) and Cav, Pocket Opera
  • Florence Price, Symphony No. 3, San Francisco Symphony/Michael Morgan (SFS debut) conducting
  • SF Silent Film Festival (postponed to November)
  • German Requiem, Brahms; SFS/MTT (I'm always happy to hear this great work)
  • Igor Levitt in recital
  • Pelléas et Mélisande, LA Opera. I would have paired Pelléas with one of these programs at the LA Phil:
    • Mälkki conducts Saariaho and Sibelius OR
    • Sunday in the Park with George, by the great Stephen Sondheim
  • Ojai Music Festival
  • Partenope, SF Opera, even though I disliked the production first time around.
  • Ernani, SF Opera. Great early Verdi with what sure looked like a great cast.
  • The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, SF Opera. Because I liked it at Santa Fe, there've been some additions to the score, and I figured that Bay Area tech folks would buy tickets out of sheer curiosity, even though the libretto isn't great.
  • The Flying Dutchman; SFS/MTT, with a great cast
  • Mahler 8; MTT's last concert as music director of SFS


Robert Gordon said...

I've seen Das Liebesverbot. In 2010, when the LA Opera was doing the Achim Freyer Ring, the USC opera workshop mounted a production. The student cast and orchestra were very good -- the female lead requires the sort of voice that could sing Fidelio or Reiza in Oberon, and they actually had someone like that.

Someone told me they had cut about 45 minutes of music out of it -- I wouldn't know, of course, but what was left seemed to make sense. It's a very good opera, although it doesn't sound much like Wagner (it doesn't sound much like anyone else, either). If Wagner and his descendants hadn't proscribed it, it would probably receive regular performances around the world.

What interested me particularly is that it changes, and rather reverses, the ethics of Measure for Measure. Shakespeare's play is an attack on sexual hypocrisy, and Wagner turns it into a justification of what used to be called free love -- Wagner has his axe to grind, I suppose. The main change to the plot is to move the location from Vienna to Palermo at Carnival time. Possible Opera Quiz question: name two operas that endorse Dionysian ethics in Palermo (the other is King Roger).

Lisa Hirsch said...

Apologies for the delayed reply - I've been a weird combination of busy with work and somewhat ennervated in taking care of small tasks.

I am envious about Das Liebesverbot! It was done in Germany recently, along with Die Feen and Rienzi, maybe in Leipzig or Dresden. I think that in 2022 I will take a two or three week trip to Germany to see some repertory that isn't done much in the US....

I've thought for some time that Bayreuth should branch out, to the three early operas and to important works by other composers of Wagner's lifetime and to more recent works as well. Maybe the current situation there, with Katharina Wagner stepping down at least temporarily owing to illness, will bring some changes.

That would be a GREAT opera quiz question! I saw King Roger in Santa Fe and I'm amazed it isn't more widely performed.