Classical Music

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

Pirates sail into San Diego Opera

It promises to be a treat... because Greer Grimsley

The last time Greer Grimsley was in a production at San Diego Opera I was accused, in so many words, of having an unhealthy man-crush on the steely voiced bass-baritone. I don’t deny it. Although ...

Despite Monty Python's best efforts, Billy Elliot exists

The comedy troupe torched the idea 30 years earlier

One would think that by the year 2000 the whole Northern England coal mining family with a son who “just wants to sing [or dance]” trope would have played itself out. Especially after repeatedly being ...

National football music

The heroic sound of NFL Films

The autumn wind is a pirate/ Blustering in from sea/ With a rollicking song, he sweeps along/ Swaggering boisterously His face is weather beaten/ He wears a hooded sash/ With a silver hat about his ...

Local youths sacrificed to the opera gods

The Met Auditions return October 7

The great sacrifice of die Jugend des Landes, the youth of the land, is coming up on Saturday, October 7, 10:00 a.m.. This sacrifice is also known as The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, usually ...

Big can't go small

A new French opera album from Jonas Kaufmann

Jonas Kaufmann is one of my favorite tenors on the current world stage when it comes to the dramatic tenor repertoire. He has just released a new album of French opera arias. Some of it ...

Never go full romantic

Robert and Clara Schumann — classical music power couple

When we speak of classical music power couples there are a few which come to mind. There are Richard and Cosima Wagner, Frederic Chopin and George Sand, Gustav and Alma Mahler, Tchaikovsky and Nadezhda von ...

The Russian problem

Have you met The Noblewoman Vera Sheloga? Neither have I.

I went to a small gathering of opera lovers on Sunday, September 10. The group was brought together to explore Mikhail Glinka’s opera Ruslan and Lyudmila. I had never even heard of this opera. As ...

Like a miracle — San Diego Symphony’s Opus Gala almost here

It's spelled "bourgie" not "bougie"

‘Tis the season for The Symphony Opus Gala. I’ve been waiting impatiently for months for the season to finally start up again. The Gala falls on Saturday, October 7, between two concerts on Friday, October ...

Life as an argument

Bruckner, Milhaud, and Schweitzer converge

While September 4 was Labor Day, for some of us it was also a birthday celebration. Whose birthday? Anton Bruckner and french composer Darius Milhaud. It also marked the death, in 1965, of Albert Schweitzer. ...

San Diego's tiny role in the big opera world shuffle

Netrebko replaces Radvanovsky in Vienna; Radvanovsky sang in San Diego's Il Trovatore

Because of few operatic opportunities in San Diego County it is easy to forget that there is a great big world of opera out there. In that great big world there are some great big ...

Rodrick and Verhoye surprise concerts at Encinitas and Scripps Ranch

Local libraries unexpected showcases

The San Diego County Public Libraries have a vibrant concert schedule which gets lost unless you go to your local library on a regular basis to use the internet. The libraries have two concerts coming ...

Conductor’s podium now a political platform

Gustavo Dudamel, Dennis Prager, Puccini, Wagner suffer brickbats

I assume I’m not the only one who is experiencing political fatigue. I’m not talking about the shuffling of White House personnel, North Korea, or what have you. I’m referring to all the political posturing ...

The other Haydn

Michael Haydn was brother to Joseph and mentor to Mozart

Michael Haydn died on August 10, 1806. He was younger brother to Joseph Haydn and counted Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart amongst his friends and admirers. The anniversary of his death prompted me to give his Requiem ...

Stop picking the Wagnerian scab

It’s time to take Wagner back from National Socialism

Whatever would we do without PC culture to judge the recent past (last 200 years) for us and then share its verdict of guilty based on the precious shell which has been slowly swallowing culture ...

Schoenberg and his truth

Perhaps I need to find a summer love

One of my early tactics for exploring music was to simply find recordings with orchestra and chorus. I sang in choirs all through high school and college, so I was into works with chorus. I ...

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