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Georgia Rowe

Georgia Rowe has been a Bay Area arts writer since 1986. She is Opera News’ chief San Francisco correspondent, and a frequent contributor to San Francisco Classical Voice, Musical America, San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, and San Francisco Examiner. Her work has also appeared in Gramophone, San Francisco Magazine, and Songlines.

Articles by this Author

Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
September 22, 2010

The advance ads might have convinced you that the main event on this week’s San Francisco Symphony program was Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. To be sure, Michael Tilson Thomas and the orchestra performed the work as planned, conferring considerable eloquence and brio on Tchaikovsky’s monumental masterpiece. But the program’s greatest rewards came in a trio of American works by Aaron Copland and Lou Harrison. It may be some time before audiences hear any of these works played in the Bay Area again — or hear them played this well.

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Feature Article
September 21, 2010

Her voice was ineffably moving, her appearances were the stuff of legend. She gave nearly 600 performances over an 18-year span. In one appearance, she received 27 curtain calls in an outpouring of adoration lasting more than 40 minutes. For many opera lovers, there is and always will be only one true diva: Maria Callas, known to her legions of fans simply as “La Divina.” A special exhibition devoted to Callas arrives in S.F. this month.

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Opera Review
September 11, 2010

Works of fiction that become operas often suffer some degree of degradation in the translation. Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, for example, is generally acknowledged a masterpiece: Dostoyevsky called it “flawless as a work of art.” Yet David Carlson’s opera Anna Karenina seems destined to go down in operatic history as a valiant attempt, at best.

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Feature Article
August 30, 2010

A preview of must-see artists and special events for the upcoming season, by Georgia Rowe.

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Artist Spotlight
July 25, 2010

Over the last decade, baritone Richard Paul Fink has become closely associated with the role of Alberich, the malevolent dwarf in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. He’s sung the role in San Francisco, in New York, and, most recently, in three complete Ring cycles at Los Angeles Opera. Now Fink comes to Berkeley Opera to take on a different Ring role, as Wotan in Legend of the Ring. He spoke with SFCV about how he’s preparing to “step up” from chief Nibelung to the king of the gods.

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Feature Article
July 19, 2010

Every year around this time, something remarkable happens in Santa Cruz: The annual Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music convenes, and this sunny beach town best known for its boardwalk becomes a thriving new-music laboratory. Under Music Director Marin Alsop, the two-week festival attracts an impressive array of top composers, musicians, and aficionados eager for a total immersion in the music of our time.

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Festival Review
July 16, 2010

The Midsummer Mozart Festival has never been about the kind of easy-listening, check-your-brain-at-the-door fare that plagues many summer concerts. Music Director George Cleve wasted no time making that point Friday evening at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as he and the orchestra got the annual Mozart bash off to a characteristically vibrant start.

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Artist Spotlight
June 15, 2010

Since her years in the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists’ Program, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been on the fast track to stardom. In a field already crowded with mezzos, the graduate of Rice University and the Juilliard School has distinguished herself in a wide variety of concert, opera, and recital repertoire. Although her S.F. Opera debut is still several years away — read on for details — Cooke has made a strong impression in three previous San Francisco Symphony assignments.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
May 27, 2010

It only took the better part of two decades, but Thursday evening at Davies Symphony Hall, Robin Holloway’s Clarissa Sequence finally received its first San Francisco Symphony performance. Holloway’s original Clarissa Sequence, that is, the one for soprano and orchestra.

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Artist Spotlight
May 24, 2010

Erin Wall, who made her San Francisco Symphony debut in 2004, has become something of a Bay Area favorite since then. The Canadian soprano returns for two S.F. Symphony programs in May and June. Here, she talks about working with MTT — the singer's conductor — the freedom of new repertoire, and the challenges ahead.

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Feature Article
May 11, 2010

Matías Tarnopolsky is understandably pleased. Less than a year after being appointed director of Cal Performances, he’s unveiled the first season entirely of his own programming, and it’s a knockout.

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Artist Spotlight
May 4, 2010

There's no one quite like Laurie Anderson. Here, the performance artist talks about her upcoming performance of Delusion, the mystery of how our minds work, her love of books and desire to write, and how "talking about music is like dancing about architecture."

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Feature Article
April 27, 2010

Berkeley-born Gabriela Lena Frank is on a roll, with her compositions being performed widely, even as she serves the Berkeley Symphony as its creative advisor. Her upcoming first violin concerto, Hailli Lírico, is drawn from poem-prayers uttered by Inca kings.

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Opera Review
April 24, 2010

Are opera lovers reevaluating La Rondine? Puccini’s 1917 lyric comedy has always been dismissed as something of a trifle, a one-hit wonder with a single great soprano aria.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
April 18, 2010

Second nights are notoriously difficult to pull off, whether they’re in the theater or the concert hall. But David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony blazed through the second of two programs Sunday at Davies Symphony Hall, sustaining the excitement they had generated on the previous evening and elevating even the most familiar repertoire to the level of the sublime.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
April 1, 2010

Beethoven cast an enormous shadow over the composers of his era, as well as those who followed; Brahms, who was particularly intimidated by the master, despaired of ever writing a symphony. “You have no idea,” he told a friend, “how the likes of us feel when we hear the tramp of a giant like him behind us.”

Intimidation eventually yielded to inspiration — which, according to Berkeley Symphony music director Joana Carneiro, was the theme of the orchestra’s concert Thursday evening at Zellerbach Hall.

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Recital Review
March 20, 2010

In a year that marks the bicentenaries of Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann, it can’t be easy to decide which composer to celebrate. On Saturday evening at Davies Symphony Hall, soprano Dawn Upshaw and pianist Emanuel Ax split the difference and presented an enjoyable duo recital that gave each composer equal time.

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Artist Spotlight
March 6, 2010

Jordi Savall, always a welcome guest in the Bay Area, returns this month for an extended stay.

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Choral Review
February 28, 2010

For mastery of dynamics, unity of utterance, and sheer tonal beauty, aficionados would be hard-pressed to find a more accomplished a cappella ensemble than the Swedish Radio Choir. Under guest conductor Ragnar Bohlin, the 32-member group appeared in Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus Sunday afternoon, and the music-making was as wide-ranging as it was sonically pristine.

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Recital Review
February 21, 2010

Some guys have all the luck — or at least it seems that way with Joshua Bell. In the last decade, the American violinist has become one of the most successful artists in classical music history, selling millions of CDs and stacking up awards like so many Legos. With his boyish good looks, it would be easy to dismiss him as the industry’s most marketable commodity. Yet his meteoric rise isn’t all hype: Sunday afternoon at Zellerbach Hall, a few thousand fans braved the wet weather to hear him in a duo recital presented by Cal Performances, and they didn’t go away disappointed.

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