Classical Music

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

The Dream of... who?

The esoteric pick of the week is a scrappy poem about the afterlife.

I present Edward Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius as the esoteric pick of the week. The Dream of Gerontius is a "Divine Comedy-esque" poem by John Henry Newman. Newman was a complex and controversial figure. ...

Greatness abounds

Two excellent and celebrated pieces will be played at two major venues this weekend

The Great Symphony — it's not the title that Schubert chose, or would have chosen, but it has stuck. The nickname was intended to differentiate this C major symphony from the Little C major Symphony ...

San Diego Opera hints at collaboration with famed comic-book character

Der Fledermausmann?

“Batman has always had an operatic quality about him,” says San Diego opera director of youth outreach Jim Kidd. “Child of privilege, parents murdered before his eyes. Goes mad, develops a terrifying alter ego, hunts ...

Schiff, Giovanni and death

The weekend is ripe with world-class classical-music concerts

Andras Schiff has been knighted for his ability to play the piano and he’s going to be giving a concert this weekend at Sherwood Auditorium in La Jolla next the Contemporary Art Museum at 8 ...

Engagement by the community is so enheartening

Tenor Paul Appleby discusses the future of the opera form.

Paul Appleby: I’m hopeful that the crisis that was averted here at San Diego Opera was averted by the people. That’s what’s so inspiring with this story. So many of us across the country were ...

Alternate Giovannis

Tenor Paul Appleby discusses the challenge of different versions and stagings

Paul Appleby: You know there are two version of Don Giovanni. There’s the Prague version and the Vienna version. The Prague version does not include Dalla sua pace. That was written later for the Vienna ...

He's no wimp

Tenor Paul Appleby talks opera and the cost of living.

Paul Appleby is a smart guy. He is also performing the role of Don Ottavio in San Diego Opera’s Don Giovanni. Paul went to Juilliard and then into the Metropolitan Opera’s young artist program. During ...

To Hell with the ruling class

Mozart had a rebellious side.

I’ve recently learned a thing or two about Mozart’s Don Giovanni that I think are worth passing along. Keep in mind that I’m not a musicologist, but I’m going to put my best foot forward. ...

Art of Élan

“Have you been to an Art of Élan concert?” Whenever I get this question it is asked at a hundred miles an hour with the enthusiasm of true belief. What is Art of Élan? On ...

Puccini partisanship

Reviewing a review could get ugly.

This could get ugly — really ugly. I’m about to “review a review” of San Diego Opera’s La Boheme. The production closed on Sunday so now is a safe time to do this. Why don’t ...

Weekend scramble

The classical schedule is a little different for January 29-31

With conductors canceling and the San Diego Symphony doing double duty at Symphony Hall and the Civic Theater, it’s time to shuffle things around this week. I want to talk first about Opera on the ...

San Diego Opera happy

But this year’s saviors will need to come through in the future

The San Diego Opera, which went through death throes last year, then recovered, is starting its 50th season in remarkably good shape. Saturday night’s opening of Puccini’s La Bohème was sold out, and Sunday (Super ...

Musical genius dies at age 25

The esoteric pick of the week is all about the big symphony

There is one piece of esoteric music which I wish, above all others, the San Diego Symphony or La Jolla Symphony would perform. That music is Hans Rott’s First Symphony in E major. Rott wrote ...

No more grouch

The conclusion of the interview with Malcolm MacKenzie, in town for La Boheme

We continue with our interview of Malcolm MacKenzie. As it turns out, he isn’t so much an old grouch as a father of two who has figured out a way to balance an opera career ...

Old fogey or keeping it old school?

Opera singer Malcolm MacKenzie schools us on the art-form.

It’s almost opera season. I sat down to talk with Malcolm MacKenzie, who will be singing the role of Schaunard “the musician” in San Diego Opera’s new production of La Boheme. I asked him about ...

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