San Diegans impressed with the vocal and dramatic skills of mezzo-soprano Blythe Gaissert in San Diego Opera’s 2017 production of Laura Kaminsky’s challenging contemporary chamber opera As One should rejoice. Gaissert is back in town to sing the role of Hansel in the company’s production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s 1893 fairy tale opera Hansel and Gretel that opens February 8 in the Civic Theatre.

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Friday, in his second program of the Symphony’s current month-long Beethoven at 250 festival, Principal Guest Conductor Edo de Waart continued to work his magic, turning out a dramatic but keenly focused account of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony paired with an exhilarating presentation of John Adams’ 1994 Violin Concerto with the accomplished Leila Josefowicz as soloist.

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