Articles by Philip Hodge
Heart of a Soldier is different from most operas. The Story is a biography of a current person, and it is by far the driving force of the opera; music, acting, scenery, lighting, etc. are important only in-so-far-as they enhance the story telling
I had never seen or heard Idomeneo before, but I knew I’d like it – I mean, it’s Mozart so what else do you need to know?
H.M.S. Pinafore hove into Mountain View this past weekend and it was immediately obvious that the “sober men and true” who sailed her were not exaggerating a bit when they sang, “Our saucy ship’s a beauty.”
Macbeth is a total villain with no redeeming qualities - not even consistency. Immediately after killing King Duncan he wishes the deed undone. But then he commits more murders to cover up the first one
Imagine, if you will, Agatha Christie, Groucho Marx, Noel Coward, and Richard Rogers all locked in a small room and told they can’t come out until they’ve written a new musical - Curtains"
The Broadway By the Bay’s production of Meredith Willson’s "The Music Man" is nothing but Cool
Pocket Opera's production of Mozarts' "Marriage of Figaro" with many stars who were familiar to me, was a delight
Why was the San Francisco Opera production of Wagner's "Ring Cycle" so great? Read on and find out
How Francesca Zambello, Director of the SFO Ring Series, manages two challenges which are not normally present in opera
Here you will find a complete list of all the mythical and human characters in the Ring, along with a terse summary to remind you of the complex plot.
In the course of 6 days I spent 17 hours watching and listening to San Francisco Opera's complete cycle of Wagner’s 4 operas known as the Ring. Here is Part I of a four-part review of the cycle as a whole.
Pocket Opera's Italian Girl in Algiers has great music by Rossini, an improbable plot, and a really happy ending – the bad guys aren’t really bad, everyone on stage likes the outcome, and the audience leaves humming, chuckling, and feeling good
The Met HD production of Part II of Wagner’s epic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen is a must see in its encore performance on June 1st
West Bay Opera's "Dido and Aeneas" by Henry Purcell and "La Vida Breve" by Manuel de Falla, similar and different were both thoroughly enjoyable
In this European HD performance of Verdi's Rigoletto. Placido Domingo IS Rigoletto in a production filmed in Mantua, the real town where this took place
The title role of a cat named Minette is shared by a cute little stuffed toy (silently) and later by the even cuter soprano Elise Kennedy (not silently)
In it's 70 minutes, Pietro Mascagni’s "Cavalleria Rusticana" is challenged to present a beginning, a middle and an end
I can’t recall ever witnessing a better opera performance than I saw this morning - everything came together: Verdi’s music, Amiliato’s conducting, the wonderful singers giving their all
Capriccio is like a delicate soufflé. When it is done perfectly it is an almost transcendental experience. But let any small thing disturb its fragile perfection, and it would fall flat - the soufflé served up Saturday was yummy
And so Opera San Jose's production of La Boheme ends: beautiful, predictable, actions and music in sublime accord, lump growing in my throat, tears rolling down my cheeks - I could ask no more
I saw the Ballet San Jose present Roland Petit’s Carmen, danced to the music of the familiar opera by Bizet and I was moved to write about it
My enjoyment of the Met HD production of Rossini's "Le Comte Ory" began before Ms Fleming had finished her 60-second introduction delivered from back stage
There is no question but that Erina Newkirk was the star of Pocket Opera's current production of "Manon
What a fantastic 31 hours that included "Lucia di Lammermoor", "Kiss Me Kate" and "Man of La Mancha"
A truly dysfunctional royal family - the king sacrifices his daughter, the queen kills the king, the son kills the queen - Fifteen years later the overture to Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride starts
I can’t think of a better way to start my review of this 2011 performance than to quote in full the review I wrote two years ago of the same production with a different cast
The Euro HD rendition of last year’s performance of "La Traviata" from the Royal Opera House in London reinforced previous experiences I have had
If you enjoy light-hearted opera by such composers as Offenbach, Lehar, Gilbert and Sullivan, you are bound to like Donizetti’s "The Elixir of Love"
I love West Bay Opera and was thrilled to find that their production of "Turandot" by Puccini more than held its own in comparison to the Met HD's performance
You may not necessarily enjoy "Nixon in China" by John Adams but you may be in danger of being ensnared or seduced by it