New Mark Adamo Opera Commission Announced

San Francisco Opera has announced plans to commission a new work by Mark Adamo for a scheduled premiere in 2013. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, in Mark’s words, “draws on the Gnostic gospels, the canonical gospels and fifty years of new Biblical scholarship to...

Erling Wold's MORDAKE

My congratulations to San Francisco composer colleague Erling Wold on the premiere of his new opera Mordake. This is not a review, and so I’ll stop short of providing a lot of detail. Mordake is a very beautiful work, both musically and visually, performed most...

Sondheim at Herbst Theater

This past Sunday was a date I’d been anticipating for months. As part of the City Arts and Lectures series here in San Francisco, Stephen Sondheim sat down with Frank Rich for a thoroughly spontaneous and entertaining hour-and-a-half discussion. Now, I’ve...

Sondheim's Favorite: "Someone in a Tree"

It is well known among Sondheim kooks such as myself that Stephen Sondheim’s favorite among his own songs is “Someone in a Tree” from the 1976 musical Pacific Overtures. I love this song too, but it’s never been clear to me exactly why it...

Sweeney Fatigue

Why am I so uninterested in the new Sweeney Todd movie? It’s as much a surprise to me as it is to anyone who knows me. I remember being excited about it about 15 years ago when there began to be noise about a Tim Burton adaptation, but in recent years I’ve...