Jason Victor Serinus

Jason Victor Serinus is a professional whistler and lecturer on opera and vocal recordings. He is editor of Psychoimmunity and the Healing Process: A Holistic Approach to Immunity & AIDS, and he has written about music for Opera News, Opera Now, American Record Guide, Stereophile, Carnegie Hall Playbill, Gramophone, AudioStream, San Francisco Magazine, Stanford Live, Bay Area Reporter, and other publications.

Articles by this Author

 San Francisco Opera  <em>La Traviata</em> Reborn
June 29, 2009

What a difference a change of principals can make. Instead of the overhyped Anna Netrebko, who, as Violetta in the first five performances of San Francisco Opera’s production of Verdi’s La traviata, simplified her coloratura, shunned the much-anticipated E-flat at the end of a hardly free “Sempre libera” (Forever free), and mostly scratched the surface of her role, we now have the alive-in-the-moment soprano of Elizabeth Futral.

More about San Francisco Opera »
Upcoming Concert
    Thu July 16, 2009 8:00pm

    How would classical music have evolved in the last century had not the Holocaust robbed us of some of our greatest composers? That is but one of the questions that preoccupied Susan Waterfall, cofounder of the Mendocino Music Festival, as she prepared for the festival’s July 16 evening program, They Left a Light: Masterpieces From Nazi Prison Camps. More about Mendocino Music Festival »

      Kate Royal: <em>Midsummer Night</em> Soprano Kate Royal's Sweet Midsummer Night
    June 23, 2009

    For her much-anticipated second EMI recital disc, the elegant British soprano Kate Royal (b. 1979) graces us with a collection of gorgeously sung arias from the last century. Inspired by the role of the Governess in Benjamin Britten’s gothic psychodrama The Turn of the Screw, which she sang with Glyndebourne on Tour in 2006, Royal hones in on 20th-century operatic females who, in her own words, share the Governess’ combination of “intensity and abandon.”

    More »
    Feature Article
    June 2, 2009

    Summer, they say, is the time to unwind and relax. Whether you choose to do so at the beach, in your garden hammock, or at the top of Yosemite’s Half Dome, you’ll certainly welcome music to carry you one step farther toward infinite bliss. Here, then, is a Critic’s Choice classical potpourri specially tailored for the summer season.

    More "CDs for a Sizzling Summer" »
      <em>La Sonnambula</em> Sleeper Awake, Bartoli Style
    May 26, 2009
    La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) endures as one of the greatest operas of the bel canto era. So glorious is Bellini’s melodic flow, and so touching the sentiment, that the implausibility of Romani’s libretto is cast aside as long as the leads observe the inviolable tenets of bel canto artistry: beauty of vocal production, variety of expressive nuance, and elegance of vocal ornamentation must remain paramount. More »
    Choral REVIEW
     Chora Nova  Orff Gone Gaga
    May 24, 2009

    Chora Nova certainly doesn’t shy away from challenges. Since its artistic director, the conductor and countertenor Paul Flight, came on board to direct the auditioned community chorus in July 2006, it has tackled the challenging works of Kodály, a number of greater and lesser Baroque masterworks, Brahms’ “German” Requiem and Neue Liebeslieder, and the music of Michael Haydn.

    More about Chora Nova »
    Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
     Oakland East Bay Symphony  Boat Taking on Water
    May 15, 2009

    When it came to the soloists, the “Show Boat in Concert/From the Jerome Kern Songbook,” this season’s American Masterworks Series installment from the Oakland East Bay Symphony, scored a well-deserved 10. The performances and casting for Friday evening’s concert at the Paramount Theatre were pretty fabulous.

    More about Oakland East Bay Symphony »
      <em>I Capuleti e  I Montecchi</em> Netrebko and Garan&#269;a<br>Sing Rare Bellini
    May 19, 2009
    Why Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi (The Capulets and the Montagues) is so infrequently staged becomes apparent once you hear Deutsche Grammophon’s new recording. Although the beautifully sung performance stars the enticing triple bill of soprano Anna Netrebko (who next month returns to San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House in Verdi’s La Traviata) as Giulietta, fast-rising mezzo-soprano Elina Garanča (just seen in the Met’s La Cenerentola) as Romeo, and tenor Joseph Calleja as Tebaldo, the music as a whole is not the most inspiring. More »
    Choral REVIEW
      Jake Heggie<br>Temple Emanu-El's Music at Meyer series Songs That Serenade, Scintillate, and Provoke
    May 11, 2009

    Jake Heggie. There are few contemporary composers so loved and adored, yet so controversial. When he’s on, his music can be touching, endearing, entertaining, hilarious, and/or heart-shakingly profound by turns. As a person, he’s handsome, delightful, and admirably out about his gayness.

    More »
    Feature Article
    May 12, 2009

    When it comes to classical music and opera, we enlightened ones are supposed to be color-blind. Regardless of our race, the racial characteristics of singers and musicians are not supposed to matter … some of the time.

    More "Looking the Other Way:
    Race in Classical Music" »
      Ambrose Field and John Potter<br><em>Being Dufay</em> Early Music Meets<br>the Electronic Age
    May 12, 2009
    This is a remarkable CD. At first glance, its pairing of Ambrose Field’s live and studio electronics with the voice of former Hilliard Ensemble tenor John Potter singing the music of Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474) may seem like an update of Officium, the best-selling ECM early music recording from 1994 that partnered Jan Garbarek’s distinctive saxophone with the voices of the Hilliard Ensemble. More »
    Upcoming Concert
      Tue May 12, 2009 (All day)

      Quality is a given when it comes to the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus (GGMC). First and foremost, its director for the last 13 years has been Joseph Jennings, longtime music director of Chanticleer. Even if you don’t know the repertoire, which is most likely the case with the chorus’s forthcoming concert of "Sacred Harmonies," the fact that Jennings has chosen it insures that beautiful, oft-compelling discoveries are in store.

      More about Golden Gate Men’s Chorus »

        <em>West of the Sun: Music of the Americas</em> Joel Fan's Music of the Americas
      May 5, 2009
      Pianist Joel Fan, a longtime member of Yo-Yo Ma’s genre-busting Silk Road Ensemble, has just released West of the Sun: Music of the Americas. Given Fan’s predilection for colorful repertoire, this new disc, his second CD on the Bay Area–based audiophile label Reference Recordings, is likely to follow his initial release, World Keys: Virtuoso Piano Music, to the top of the Billboard classical charts. More »
      Upcoming Concert
      Stephanie Blythe
        Thu April 23, 2009 8:00pm

        Faster than a buckin’ bronco, the venerable Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe are hitching a ride West with the Pony Express to present the Bay Area premiere of Alan Louis Smith’s all-American song cycle, Vignettes: Covered Wagon Woman (2006). More about San Francisco Performances »

        CD REVIEW
          Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center<br>Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe American Voices
        April 21, 2009

        Faster than a buckin’ bronco, the venerable Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe are hitching a ride West with the Pony Express to present the Bay Area premiere of Alan Louis Smith’s all-American song cycle, Vignettes: Covered Wagon Woman (2006). More »

        Opera REVIEW
         San Francisco Lyric Opera  <em>Rigoletto</em> Meets the Mob
        April 19, 2009

        Twenty minutes after the scheduled beginning of San Francisco Lyric Opera’s matinee performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto, General Manager Bob Scher stepped before the Cowell Theater curtain to speak. Thank God, the delay was due, not to a last-minute indisposition, but to the late, “I’m sure she’ll be here any minute,” arrival of a violinist.

        More about San Francisco Lyric Opera »
        CD REVIEW
           <em>Acis and Galatea</em> Times Two: Alternative Paths to Paradise
        April 14, 2009
        Nymphs and shepherds, unite! Georg Friedrich Händel’s path to pastoral bliss beckons in two distinct directions. More »
        Choral REVIEW
         American Bach Soloists  Approaching Perfection in Pergolesi and Handel
        April 4, 2009

        There are moments when a musical performance is so carefully conceived or so sublimely delivered that all you can do is surrender to the beauty of it and express gratitude for being alive. Such was the case Saturday at Berkeley’s First Congregational Church, when those privileged to attend the second of four Bay Area concerts by Jeffrey Thomas’ American Bach Soloists were treated to a host of wondrous moments.

        More about American Bach Soloists »
        CD REVIEW
          Mark Winges: But This Is This Winges Takes Flight
        March 31, 2009
        Mark Winges, composer for and advisor to the chamber choir Volti, certainly knows how to initiate an intriguing conversation. The proof can be heard on his second CD, But This Is This. Released on the Chicago-based Centaur label, the music on this all-instrumental recording is a bona fide Bay Area effort. More »
        Opera REVIEW
         San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)  Another Happy <em>Return</em>
        March 24, 2009

        The production may be unique, but it’s not just the computer animation, puppetry, and “authentic” musical approach that make this week's staging of a great Baroque opera so special.

        More about San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) »