When the American baritone Franco Pomponi was invited to sing the lead role in John Adams’ opera ‘Nixon in China’ at one of the major Paris opera companies, he was ready to refuse. Fortunately he changed his mind, learned the role, and will now bring it to San Diego Opera’s upcoming production of the celebrated that opera where West meets East in high Minimalist style . . .

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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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Although that storied operatic cliché of the sobbing final aria before the heroine’s sad demise was scripted by the San Diego Opera Board of Directors on March 19 when it voted to shutter the company, Board President Carol Lazier was not singing a farewell aria in her press conference Monday (May 19) in the plaza in front of Civic Theatre where she jubilantly announced the reversal of the Board’s March decision to terminate the company and the raising of $2,116,376 of new money to support the 2015 season . . .

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