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...

More Bluebeard's Castle

In the course of researching (read: obsessing over) Bartók’s one-act opera Bluebeard’s Castle, I came across a Hungarian film adaptation of the piece on YouTube. It’s annoyingly divided into fourteen segments, but anyone familiar with the piece or...

Berkeley Bluebeard

I’d like to alert Bay Area readers to the upcoming performances by Berkeley Opera of my two favorite one-acts, Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges. These two composers are not particularly known for their...

So, Like, What's With the Seven Doors?

BLUEBEARD Well, we’re here. This is my castle. JUDIT This is your castle? Kinda creepy. BLUEBEARD Yeah. You sure you want to come in here? JUDIT Yeah. BLUEBEARD Well, okay then. JUDIT So, like, what’s with the seven doors? BLUEBEARD You don't want to know. JUDIT Open...

A New Book on American Opera

Sometime last year I struck up an email correspondence via this blog with poet/librettist Karren Alenier, whose opera with composer William Banfield Gertrude Stein Invents a Jump Early On was premiered in 2005 in New York by Encompass New Opera Theatre. Karren has...