Andrea Silvestrelli replaced Peter Rose as Osmin in SF Opera's Die Entführung aus dem Serail last night. Silvestrelli has a lovely warm voice with a good heft, and a certain throaty quality. He was a bit quiet and creaky for that first low D in "O, wie will ich triumphieren," but he was appealing and very funny. His accent in English for the spoken parts was charming, though not all of the words were perfectly clear. It was especially entertaining when he said "Grazie mille" instead of "Danke schön" when handing a lute back to someone in the prompter's box during his last aria.
All evening long there were many problems with synchronization between the singers and the orchestra. The chorus sounded better in Act I, but still seemed detached in Act III. Andrew Bidlack sounded just a bit weak for the sustained note in "Frisch zum Kampfe," but was otherwise great. Anna Christy sang without showing much strain at all. Mary Dunleavy had her best night so far with "Ach ich liebte." Matthew Polenzani's voice sounded both fluid and vulnerable, which was quite winning.
This time around I was able to concentrate more on the spoken dialogue in English, instead of translating it in my mind into the German. It was interesting to note that the obsolete informal second person singular pronoun was used inappropriately. Pedrillo uses the formal "you" when he is chatting it up with Osmin and Belmonte, but uses "thee" with the Pasha. One supposes it goes along with the common perception that this archaic form is actually more formal. It was a bit of a muddle, though it did not bother me the first three times I heard it this way. Once should note that the nominative was always "you" for some reason, and not "thou," which was definitely weird.
* Tattling *
It was Chevron night at the opera, and many employees of that company, who probably do not normally attend such events, were there. The couple in front of me in T 101 and 102 of the orchestra seemed rather enthused, but they did talk a great deal during the music. The female half of the couple turned on her Blackberry during the pause between the second and third acts. She received a text message that read something like "The opera is in the opera house LOL" from someone who had previously asked if the opera was being performed in Davies.