Just a quick post tonight, as it's late...
RUN, do not walk, to go see one of SF Opera's last two performances this summer of Die Walkuere (#2 opera from the Ring of the Nibelung cycle by Wagner). This is a stellar performance, with glorious singing, marvelous acting, excellent playing, sensitive conducting, great sets, a terrific "concept"...My, oh my! Even fervent non-Wagnerians will find something to like here. The singers were uniformly terrific--including the ailing Nina Stemme, who sounded not at all impaired, despite the fact that she was suffering from a bronchial infection (announced before the opera began, to a chorus of sad groans).
This bodes well for next summer's Ring cycle. But in the meantime, there are two more opportunities left for this production, June 25 and 30...Tickets at http://www.sfopera.com.
(This is not to say that the other summer opera I saw at SF Opera this June--Puccini's "spaghetti Western," i.e., La Fanciulla del West-- isn't good, as it is was, but rather that this is a Walkuere for the ages, one that's got every operatic element working.)