Gertrude Stein’s Opera FOUR SAINTS IN THREE ACTS in San Francisco

The San Francisco Chronicle called it “a little silly and naïve,” and was it? Four Saints was supposed to be a highlight of the two landmark shows on Gertrude Stein – Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories and The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso and the Parisian Avant-Garde (both discussed in these pages). In a nine-week run the exhibitions attracted over 400,000 visitors. (Only Chagall drew more people in the history of SFMOMA, I was told.) A whole flurry of lectures, classes, panels, performances marked the “Summer of Stein,” and the new production of Stein’s first operatic collaboration with American composer Virgil Thomson, premiered in 1934, was eagerly awaited.
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