Donald Pippin, a librettist, pianist, and translator, has created one of the most accessible and enjoyable treats for anyone who has wavered on the brink of seeing an opera. Don’t understand the language? They have supertitles. Can’t follow some of the plot lines? That’s okay, too, because Mr. Pippin is there in between scenes to guide you through the story with his own keen wit and insightful narrative.

Their latest production, The Haunted Manor by Stanislaw Moniuszko, is not a well known piece, and that is exactly why I suggest you run to catch this show. It’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s not something that will be done at the San Francisco Opera any time soon. I have to be honest and confess that my technical knowledge is more geared towards standard theater, so my understanding of opera is more limited than those who have studied the medium intensely, but the music and the performances as a whole were wonderful. The cast’s vocal abilities were admirable and the orchestration rich and joyous.

And just to sweeten the deal, their next show will be at the Legion of Honor’s Florence Gould Theater, one of the Bay Area’s finest venues. Treat yourself to a rarely performed gem in a theater worthy of housing such a simple indulgence.

Sunday, April 26th – 2:00pm
The Legion of Honor
Florence Gould Theater
Legion of Honor Drive
San Francisco, CA

Saturday, May 9th – 2:00 pm
Julia Morgan Theater
2640 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA

Image: The Murzynowski family manor in Kalinowa near B?aszki, which is the basis for the setting of the Haunted Manor

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