Saturday, March 17, 2012

La Forza Del Destino

In the first act of La Forza Del Destino, Leonora spends time with her lover, Alvaro, when her disapproving father, the Marquis of Calatrava, surprises them. A fight ensues, but Alvaro decides to act honorably and drop his gun in surrender. But the force of destiny is strong - the gun goes off and kills the Marquis.

Click here to listen to the recording, which stars the inimitable Placido Domingo and Leontyne Price.

You can read more about the opera here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Werther is my favorite opera. I love the music, the mezzo-soprano heroine, the changing of the seasons, and especially that it's based on a story by Goethe. The love story is dramatic, yes - but unlike many operas, it is entirely plausible. In fact, it could take place in 2004 in Amarillo, Texas just as easily as in Germany in 1780. So I have chosen to set it in 2004 in Amarillo, Texas. Here, the children's singing group has taken over the parking lot of Charlotte's apartment building, and Werther broods in his leather jacket.

You can read more about the story here.

You can listen to the broadcast here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman has a special place in my heart, since it was the first opera I ever saw in the theater (at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles in 1995). Before that, I had only ever seen televised versions. And while broadcasts are great and Legos are fun, there is nothing quite like live opera.

So it was only fitting that this be my favorite opera to design so far, and also the opera on which I spent the most money. Opera is an expensive pastime, as all opera fans know.

I give you the cursed Flying Dutchman and his ghostly ship and crew.

You can read more about this opera here.

You can listen to the broadcast here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


This amazing production of Carmen starred two of my favorites: Marilyn Horne and Joan Sutherland. Here, Carmen enchants the soldiers with her famous aria, "Habanera," during a break from her work at the cigarette factory.

You can learn more about the opera here.

You can listen to the historic production here.