* Notes *
A revival of Rigeletto opened September 30th at San Francisco Opera. Mark Lamos' production from 1997 inaugurated the last General Director's tenure back in 2001. There were a few changes from the last time around, the dancers with exposed bosoms in the first scene were gone, and the lighting was less lurid. At least a prelapsarian Eve appeared, fully nude, holding an unbitten apple. Michael Yeargan's sets are simple but Constance Hoffman's costumes are elaborate. The last act seems to be by a canal rather than a river, but the water and reflections work nicely.
Paolo Gavanelli returned to sing the title role, which he last sang here in 1997. In her preview lecture, Alexandra Amati-Camperi mentioned that Verdi himself wanted the best baritone to sing Count Monterone, not Rigoletto, but this was not the case here. Bass-baritone Greer Grimsley sounded subdued and thin next to Gavanelli. Likewise, tenor Giuseppe Gipali did not sing the Duke's part with any verve. His voice, at least what could be heard of it, seemed pretty enough. Mary Dunleavy made a lovely Gilda, her tone is clear and bright, too bad she hit one note flat in her only aria. Perhaps she'll hit it tonight.
* Tattling *
They had a simulcast of the October 6th performance in front of city hall and at Stanford University, so General Director David Gockley addressed the audience. There were quite a lot of video cameras involved.
Nancy Pelosi was spotted in the orchestra section.
I noticed that the supertitle screens are being used to announce opera talks, opera donations, Gockley's contact information, and the electronic mailing list during intermission. How tiresome!
Also, a particular individual called her father during "La donna è mobile," so that he too could hear it. Too bad the tenor was not good.