San Diego Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: MAINLY MOZART'S THAMOS, KING OF EGYPT at San Diego's Balboa Theater BWW Review: MAINLY MOZART'S THAMOS, KING OF EGYPT at San Diego's Balboa Theater
by Ron Bierman - June 26, 2018

Thamos, King of Egypt,  a play by Tobias Philipp, baron von Gebler, premiered in 1774. Mozart completed incidental music for it, the 18th Century equivalent of a movie soundtrack, in 1780. Before Mainly Mozart's performance of a concert version of the play, conductor Michael Francis, with a typicall... (more...)
BWW Review: MAINLY MOZART at The Balboa Theater BWW Review: MAINLY MOZART at The Balboa Theater
by Ron Bierman - June 13, 2018

Every year since 1989 Mainly Mozart has been bringing many of the best orchestra musicians in the country to San Diego to perform a month-long series of concerts ranging from solo recitals to orchestral. When Michael Francis succeeded founding music director and conductor David Atherton in 2015 he r... (more...)
BWW Review: EDO DE WAART CONDUCTS THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY at the Jacobs Music Center BWW Review: EDO DE WAART CONDUCTS THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY at the Jacobs Music Center
by Ron Bierman - June 01, 2018

Conductor Edo de Waart opened the last concert in the San Diego Symphony Orchestra's 2017-18 Jacobs Masterworks series with Overture to Candide. The overture has been perhaps Leonard Bernstein's most frequently programmed work during this, his centennial year. The cheeky, riotous piece is always tak... (more...)
BWW Review: SAN DIEGO OPERA'S ONE AMAZING NIGHT at The Balboa Theater BWW Review: SAN DIEGO OPERA'S ONE AMAZING NIGHT at The Balboa Theater
by Ron Bierman - May 17, 2018

The San Diego Opera's last concert this season was billed as 'One Amazing Night.' The program was originally scheduled to feature soprano Lise Lindstrom and tenor Rene Barbera, but Barbera was released from his commitment when he was offered a Teatro alla Scala debut as Ernesto in a new production o... (more...)
BWW Review: THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY CONDUCTED BY JAHJA LING at The Jacobs Music Center BWW Review: THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY CONDUCTED BY JAHJA LING at The Jacobs Music Center
by Ron Bierman - April 23, 2018

It was good to see Maestro Jahja Ling return to San Diego as Conductor Laureate while we await the arrival next year of his replacement as Music Director Rafael Payare. Nor did Ling disappoint. He seemed totally absorbed in the music produced by the orchestra he was largely responsible for rebuildin... (more...)
BWW Review: JEFFREY KAHANE PLAYS AND CONDUCTS AT SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY Jacobs Music Center BWW Review: JEFFREY KAHANE PLAYS AND CONDUCTS AT SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY Jacobs Music Center
by Ron Bierman - April 18, 2018

The San Diego Symphony's season continued this past weekend with guest pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane. He opened at the piano in front of an orchestra reduced to half its usual size for Mozart's 27th piano concerto. After intermission there were roughly twice as many musicians for Samuel Barbe... (more...)
BWW Review: CASE SCAGLIONE CONDUCTS THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at the Jacobs Music Center BWW Review: CASE SCAGLIONE CONDUCTS THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at the Jacobs Music Center
by Ron Bierman - April 13, 2018

Cristian Macelaru made a favorable impression as guest conductor here last year and was scheduled to return again, a sign that he may have been on the short list of possible choices for Jahja Ling's replacement. But the San Diego Symphony has selected Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare as its new mu... (more...)
BWW Review: LA JOLLA ATHENAEUM PRESENTS ETIENNE CHARLES AND CREOLE JAZZ at TSRI Auditorium In La Jolla BWW Review: LA JOLLA ATHENAEUM PRESENTS ETIENNE CHARLES AND CREOLE JAZZ at TSRI Auditorium In La Jolla
by Ron Bierman - April 11, 2018

The Etienne Charles sextet's concert at La Jolla's TSRI Auditorium proved yet again that the Athenaeum's jazz program coordinator Dan Atkinson hasn't lost his touch. The series, which he founded in 1989, consistently features some of the best jazz musicians in the country in as many as 18 concerts a... (more...)
BWW Review: SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY PRESENTS JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA WITH CHICK COREA at San Diego Jacobs Music Center BWW Review: SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY PRESENTS JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA WITH CHICK COREA at San Diego Jacobs Music Center
by Ron Bierman - March 28, 2018

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with pianist Chick Corea performed this past weekend as part of the San Diego Symphony's jazz series. When I last heard the band two years ago without Corea, I thought it was in a bit of a rut, and I can see why Wynton Marsalis, its usual leader, chose the pianis... (more...)
BWW Review: SAN DIEGO OPERA'S FLORENCIA EN LA AMAZONAS at San Diego Civic Center BWW Review: SAN DIEGO OPERA'S FLORENCIA EN LA AMAZONAS at San Diego Civic Center
by Ron Bierman - March 23, 2018

The San Diego Opera's production of Daniel Catan's Florencia en el Amazonas was premiered Saturday at San Diego's Civic Center. Much has been made of the influence the magical realism of Nobel-Prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez had on Marcela Fuentes-Berain's libretto, but most of the magic... (more...)
BWW Review: LA JOLLA MUSIC SOCIETY PRESENTS THE ACADEMY OF ST MARTIN IN THE FIELDS at San Diego's Jacobs Music Center BWW Review: LA JOLLA MUSIC SOCIETY PRESENTS THE ACADEMY OF ST MARTIN IN THE FIELDS at San Diego's Jacobs Music Center
by Ron Bierman - March 20, 2018

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields chamber orchestra, with first violinist and music director Joshua Bell, performed Friday night at San Diego's Jacobs Music Center as part of the La Jolla Music Society's ongoing Orchestra Series. Over the years the series has featured only the best of the world... (more...)
BWW Review: Catch The Moon - One Handed Catch! West Side Story In Concert Reached For The Stars And Soared At The McCallum BWW Review: Catch The Moon - One Handed Catch! West Side Story In Concert Reached For The Stars And Soared At The McCallum
by David Green - March 12, 2018

Leonard Bernstein would have been 100 years old this year, on August 25th to be precise, and there are literally thousands of commemorative events around the globe including performances of symphonies, operas and ballets, lectures, exhibits, and film and music festivals. Last Friday I attended the M... (more...)
BWW Review: THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY CONDUCTED BY EDO DE WAART at the Jacobs Music Center BWW Review: THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY CONDUCTED BY EDO DE WAART at the Jacobs Music Center
by Ron Bierman - March 11, 2018

Edo de Waart has become a welcome repeat guest-conductor for the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. His no nonsense, experience-based authority at the podium appears to have won the respect of players, Symphony management-and certainly, San Diego audiences. Friday's finale brought an immediate standing o... (more...)
BWW Review: SAN DIEGO OPERA'S TURANDOT at the Civic Center BWW Review: SAN DIEGO OPERA'S TURANDOT at the Civic Center
by Ron Bierman - February 27, 2018

The San Diego Opera's new production of Puccini's Turandot held rapt attention throughout its three acts in spite of a dark plot that's implausible even for opera, and a lead character less loveable than Lady Macbeth. Powerful men from other kingdoms flock to win Princess Turandot's hand by answerin... (more...)
BWW Review: THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at The Jacobs Music Center BWW Review: THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at The Jacobs Music Center
by Ron Bierman - February 15, 2018

Sameer Patel, Associate Conductor of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, made his subscription series debut with Liszt's Les Preludes, the fifth symphony of Sibelius, and the world premiere of Adam Schoenberg's violin concerto Orchard in Fog. Les Preludes is one of 13 tone poems written by Liszt. He ... (more...)
BWW Review: MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES at The Lyceum Theater BWW Review: MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES at The Lyceum Theater
by Ron Bierman - February 01, 2018

Maria de Buenos Aires, a 90-minute opera by Astor Piazzolla and librettist Horacio Ferrar, is the latest in the San Diego Opera's innovative Detour Series. According to the company's website, the series name indicates its productions are stops on 'a route that is different from the ordinary.' Piazzo... (more...)
BWW Review: MINGUS DYNASTY at TSRI Auditorium BWW Review: MINGUS DYNASTY at TSRI Auditorium
by Ron Bierman - January 30, 2018

The Mingus Dynasty Septet plays often at the Jazz Standard in New York City, one of the top jazz clubs in the country. La Jolla's Athenaeum Library brought them to San Diego for two performances that included a tribute to Charles Mingus's Tijuana Moods album, originally recorded in 1957 and finally ... (more...)
BWW Review: THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at The Jacobs Music Center BWW Review: THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at The Jacobs Music Center
by Ron Bierman - January 27, 2018

Conducting with a combination of precise hand signals and smooth sweeping arm gestures, Jader Bignamini went all-out to please and entertain in his guest appearance with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, and he succeeded. The familiar works he selected seemed to form a spectacular five-movement conc... (more...)
BWW Review: SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY at Jacobs Music Center BWW Review: SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY at Jacobs Music Center
by Ron Bierman - January 19, 2018

Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare opened his San Diego Symphony Orchestra guest appearance with Berlioz's Roman Carnival Overture. Payare conducted with vigorous dramatic motions, and the orchestra responded by bringing the work's romantic themes and stirring gestures to life. Principle English hor... (more...)
BWW Review: DAVID DANZMAYR CONDUCTS THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY at Jacobs Music Center BWW Review: DAVID DANZMAYR CONDUCTS THE SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY at Jacobs Music Center
by Ron Bierman - December 08, 2017

Conductor David Danzmayr opened his guest appearance with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra with Mid-20th century Polish composer Gra?yna Bacewicz's Overture of 1943. It was a intelligent choice; her music deserves to be programmed more often. Although she received many awards and commissions during ... (more...)
BWW Review:  A Lovely Night! Rodgers And Hammerstein's CINDERELLA Is Must-See Musical Magic At The McCallum! BWW Review: A Lovely Night! Rodgers And Hammerstein's CINDERELLA Is Must-See Musical Magic At The McCallum!
by David Green - November 25, 2017

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella is sumptuous and fanciful and bursting with all of the ingredients necessary to make up the perfect family musical . The score is timeless and emotionally stirring. The costumes and scenic elements are candy for the eyes. The dancing ensemble is impeccable and t... (more...)
BWW Review: SAN DIEGO OPERA'S PRODUCTION OF AS ONE at Joan B Kroc Theatre BWW Review: SAN DIEGO OPERA'S PRODUCTION OF AS ONE at Joan B Kroc Theatre
by Ron Bierman - November 14, 2017

If a spouse transitions from one sex to another in a state where gay marriage is illegal, is the marriage still valid? There are many possible reactions to that question, including heated discussion, juvenile giggling, or reactionary distaste. Composer Laura Kaminsky chose empathy for those most dir... (more...)
BWW Review: CROSSCURRENTS at The Balboa Theatre BWW Review: CROSSCURRENTS at The Balboa Theatre
by Ron Bierman - November 07, 2017

Jazz fans were at San Diego's Balboa Theatre to see Chris Potter, one of the best sax players in the world, and bass-playing legend Dave Holland. But why was half the audience in saris?? Well, the other five musicians in the Crosscurrents band are from India, and some of them are far better known in... (more...)
BWW Review: CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IN SAN DIEGO at the Jacobs Music Center BWW Review: CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IN SAN DIEGO at the Jacobs Music Center
by Ron Bierman - October 21, 2017

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is thought by many to be the best in the United States and among the top five in the world. The orchestra's performance at San Diego's Jacob's Music Center provided absolutely no support for a contrary view. The program consisted of Schubert's 'Unfinished' eighth symph... (more...)
BWW Review: THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE at San Diego Civic Center BWW Review: THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE at San Diego Civic Center
by Ron Bierman - October 18, 2017

The Pirates of Penzance--opera or operetta? The answer to that question seems important to some opera lovers who believe a 'serious' opera company doesn't do operettas. Too bad for them if their doubts made them miss out on San Diego Opera's hugely entertaining production. A nearly sold-out audience... (more...)