Opera on the Couch 2013 - 2014

Opera on the Couch 2013 - 2014

Opera on the Couch is an ongoing collaboration between SFCP and  the San Francisco Opera, in which analysts present psychoanalytically informed post-performance discussions of the opera with interested audience members.  Discussion with the audience follows the prepared presentations.  Opera on the Couch discussions begin as soon as possible following the opera performance, and take place at Books, Inc. in the Opera Plaza complex. The discussions are free of charge and open to the public, and anyone interested in psychoanalysis and/or opera is invited to attend and to participate in the discussion.

Steven Goldberg and Milton Schaefer, Co-Chairs

Dolores Claiborne

 

Dolores Claiborne

Desperate. Passionate. Trapped. Dolores Claiborne is willing to do whatever it takes to save herself and her daughter—even if that means taking a life. One of the most compelling characters to emerge from the imagination of Stephen King, the feisty Maine housekeeper is a natural fit for opera—and specifically for the dark theatricality of American composer Tobias Picker, who "embraces opera as a populist art form" and "does so with undeniable skill" (The New York Times). Memorably played by Kathy Bates in the 1995 movie, Dolores will be sung by Patricia Racette (Sep 18, 22, 25, 28), "an artist at the peak of her powers" (Opera News) and Catherine Cook (Oct 1, 4), a singer who knows how to "delight with a treasure chest of voice and gesture" (Bay Area Reporter). This chilling work features a libretto by poet J. D. McClatchy. "Expert conductor" George Manahan is at the podium (Financial Times) and the "imaginative" and "inspired" James Robinson directs (The Wall Street Journal).

 

September 22, 2013

Discussants: Milton Schaefer, Ph.D. and Reyna Cowan, Psy.D.
Moderator: Steven Goldberg, M.D.

 

The Flying Dutchman

 

The Flying Dutchman

In Wagner's first masterpiece, a ship's captain is condemned to endlessly travel the seas under a curse that can only be broken by a woman's love. This mythic tale of bleak isolation and the promise of salvation will be told through inventive imagery, conveying a distinct sense of the supernatural. The "masterful" Patrick Summers (Houston Chronicle) conducts a cast of outstanding Wagnerians led by Greer Grimsley, who thrilled San Francisco Opera audiences as "a thunderous and dramatically compelling Jokanaan" in 2009's Salome (San Francisco Chronicle), and Petra Maria Schnitzer, who sings with "creamy tone, lyrical grace (a rarity in Wagner) and earthy top notes" (The New York Times). Petrika Ionesco, who brought "a handsome combination of grandeur and expressive intimacy" (San Francisco Chronicle) to Cyrano de Bergerac(2010), directs a production he also designed. Presented in celebration of the Wagner bicentennial year.

 

November 3, 2013

Discussants: Lee Rather, Ph.D. and L. Eileen Keller, Ph.D.
Moderator: Steven Goldberg, M.D.

Madame Butterfly

Madame Butterfly

Puccini's heartbreaking tale of innocence, betrayal and sacrifice returns in a bold and beautiful production by Jun Kaneko, designer of San Francisco Opera's dazzling production of The Magic Flute (2012). Patricia Racette, "who can rightly stand among the great Butterflies of her era" (Opera News), heads a superb cast including Elizabeth DeShong, acclaimed by The New York Times for her "rich, nuanced portrayal" of Butterfly's maid Suzuki; Brian Jagde, who "supplied what so many other tenors on today’s main stage lack: soul" (San Francisco Classical Voice); and Brian Mulligan, a baritone with a "rich, secure" voice who is "capable of sensitivity and musicality in perfectly executed moments" (The New York Times). "The visual component of this production is so compelling, and so intelligent, that it lifts this opera to a new level" (Toronto Globe and Mail).

 

June 15, 2014

Discussants: Steven Goldberg, MD and Susan Saperstein, PsyD, MFT
Moderator: Milton Schaefer, PhD

Madame Butterfly

La Traviata

Violetta Valéry may be the most heart-wrenching character in all of opera: a high-spirited but deceptively delicate woman who unexpectedly finds, and then selflessly gives up, the love of her all-too-short life. Her story will be brought to the stage by two spectacular casts. One features Nicole Cabell, a winner of the BBC Singer of the World Competition whose Company debut in 2012’s The Capulets and the Montagues was praised for its “sheer sumptuous gorgeousness” (San Jose Mercury News); tenor Saimir Pirgu is Violetta’s lover Alfredo, whose depiction of the role is "right on vocally as well as dramatically" (Associated Press); and Vladimir Stoyanov, praised by The New York Times for his "warm, attractive voice." The other is led by Ailyn Pérez, whose performance of the role at London’s Royal Opera House was hailed as “an unalloyed triumph” (The Guardian, London); Stephen Costello, "an ascending voice in opera" with an "engaging, pure voice" (Philadelphia Inquirer); and the "triumphant" and "splendid" Quinn Kelsey (San Francisco Chronicle).

 

July 13, 2014

Discussants: Israel Katz, MD and Jeanne Harasemovitch, LCSW
Moderator: Milton Schaefer, PhD

 


 

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