The obituary for the solo vocal recital has been written so frequently it is a wonder that singers still attempt to present it. This fall, San Diego Opera has demonstrated how to make this supposedly moribund format come to life, and Friday (Dec. 12) mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe entranced her ample audience at the Balboa Theatre . . .

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From its first performance in Milan’s church of San Marco in 1874, Guiseppe Verdi’s Requiem Mass catapulted its listeners from the solemn cadence of the Roman Catholic liturgy to the raw emotional drama of the opera stage. So it was entirely appropriate for San Diego Opera to present a concert performance of this Requiem on the company’s usual opera stage on March 20 . . .

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When you combine an ideal cast, sharp direction, a smart period set, and a sympathetic baton in the pit, the result is San Diego Opera’s “A Masked Ball,” which opened Saturday (March 8) at Civic Theatre. This cast list for this gripping but far too infrequently performed Verdi opera looked good on paper, but on stage it was spectacular. . .

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