Classical Music

Reviews and previews of classical music performances and players. For a list of upcoming classical performances, visit our events section.

Summer of Wagner

Bayreuth has been the big festival for decades.

July and August are Wagner months on account of the annual Bayreuth Festival in Bayreuth, Germany. The festival has been running since 1876, and has been impossible to attend for most of that time. However, ...

Early start for San Diego Opera

SDO usually starts the season at the end of January. This year it's September.

The beleaguered San Diego Opera officially starts its season way early this year with a September 5 recital concert by opera power-couple Ailyn Perez and Stephen Costello at the Balboa Theatre. Both Costello and Perez ...

Library book, book, book, book

A San Diego Opera preview concert with young singers.

The book, the book, the book, the book, the book.” Believe it or not, someone was singing about “the book” at the Central Library. That someone was Jennifer Wu, and it was awesome. The Central ...

Classical and grotesque

Ken Russell made some interesting movies about composers.

We’ve looked at the great, the okay, and now for the third and final segment on composer films — Ken Russell. Ken Russell defies any categories we might want to come up with. Great? Perhaps. ...

Okay-to-good, but not great

Movies about composers tend to miss the point.

If Amadeus is the only great composer movie, what about some others that are good? I’m not sure there are any that are good-to-great but there are a few that are okay-to-good. Immortal Beloved comes ...

The greatest classical composer movie

Puccini's story might not be operatic, but could it be cinematic?

Regarding the Puccini story, one of our resplendent writers (Matt Lickona) wanted to know why this hasn’t been turned into an opera. I’m not sure how an opera would work but a staged production of ...

The sky is falling in Italy

Productions are being canceled in the birthplace of opera.

The fourth largest opera house in Italy is shutting down its two largest productions of the season, according to a Newsweek report. The fourth-largest opera house in Italy is the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, Italy. ...

Buy Puccini's hideout

Purchase a tiny part of opera history in Italy.

The Guardian is reporting that Puccini’s hideout is up for sale. It’s going for about $535,000. The story goes that Puccini knocked up the very-married Elvira Bonturi and needed a place to hide from her ...

Ian Campbell blasted in opera magazine

Where did that "amendment" come from?

The September edition of Opera News, the magazine for opera lovers published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, has a long, sizzling investigative piece on the demise and (hopefully) rebirth of San Diego Opera. Ian Campbell, ...

Could San Diego save the Met?

Why isn't there a White Knight Committee in New York?

With the first of a few benefit concerts for San Diego Opera coming up in a few weeks, let's talk a little bit about what has happened in San Diego and what is happening in ...

San Diego was only the prelude

The largest classical music institution in the U.S. faces financial trouble

The struggle at San Diego Opera may have been only the prelude to a much bigger fight at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. There have been several articles regarding the deficits at the Met. The budget ...

Symphony picks up Chicago vet

Martha Gilmer to step into CEO role at San Diego Symphony

The San Diego Symphony has announced Martha Gilmer as the new Chief Executive Officer, to replace Edward Gill. Ms. Gilmer inherits one of the healthiest symphonic organizations in the country, which is a testament to ...

Risky regietheater

What happens when the director strays from tradition?

I just finished a book that claims there is no greatness without an intense amount of thought involved. So, I’ve given it a try and applied this "thinking" thing to art in general and opera ...

Titanic operas

Could big opera work on the San Diego waterfront?

Summer is full of festivals. They’re everywhere. Ev-er-y-where. Let’s take a look at one of the big ones that begins later this month. By big, I mean gigante. Huge. Titanic. That’s the Bregenz Festival in ...

Bell wins — Yay!

“I had a new CD coming out of 20th-century classical music, but I added an original piece dedicated to my flute mentor,” musician Lori Bell tells the Reader in an interview conducted in her second-floor ...

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