Shoppers and downtown workers on their lunch break Thursday (Jan. 29) were startled to hear strains of “Bess, you is my woman now” from Gershwin’s opera “Porgy and Bess” floating across the wide plaza in front of San Diego Civic Theatre . . .

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San Diego Opera’s vibrant ensemble production of “La bohème” Saturday (Jan. 24) at Civic Theatre not only opened the 2015 season, but marked the company’s rebirth after a near-death experience last spring . . .

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In the heyday of Southern California surf music, this pop style seemed remote from the world of jazz, but composer and jazz guitarist Peter Sprague created his unique “saltwater jazz” style surfing the waves off Del Mar . . .

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The last time San Diegans encountered baritone Morgan Smith, he was riveting their attention in the role of Starbuck in San Diego Opera’s production of Jake Heggie’s “Moby-Dick,” one of the few contemporary operas that have found favor with opera’s notoriously conservative audience. Back in town for the first opera of San Diego’s 2015 season, Smith shares his insights and inspirations . . .

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La Jolla Music Society opened its Celebrity Recital Series with a program by noted violinist Gidon Kremer and upcoming pianist Daniil Trifonov, although the young Russian rising star managed to rule the stage at Sherwood Auditorium . . .

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