Osmo Vänskä and Antti Siirala at SFS
Davitt Moroney plays Das Wohltemperirte Clavier

SF Opera Costume Sale 2009

Sfopera-sale * Notes * 
The fourth San Francisco Opera Costume Sale continues today from 11 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon, and was clearly well-publicized. The queue started well before 9 in the morning yesterday and extended south on Indiana Street, and then west on 22nd Street all the way under the freeway (280). People waited in line for more than 3 hours to get inside, as they only allowed a certain number in at a time. One imagines and hopes that today it must be more calm, as it was an absolute circus yesterday.

There certainly was a bizarre assemblage of items within the San Francisco Opera Scene Shop. It was fun to see the costumes up close, especially those of operas one has seen on the War Memorial Stage. It is odd to think one could own the costume of Ruth Ann Swenson wore as Ophelia in Thomas' Hamlet from the 1996 season, or a fluttery gown worn by Precious Auntie from The Bonesetter's Daughter. It was humanizing to read the measurements of the various singers and dancers, giving the proceedings a bit of a museum-like aspect.

If one was invited to the Costume Sale Preview on Friday evening, as donors at a certain level were, this was definitely preferable. This event had no lines and cocktails were even served. I tried on four gowns in an hour: ones from La Traviata (Nelly Miricioiu as Violetta, I believe), L'Africaine (Evelyn Mandac, Ruth Ann Swenson as Inèz, 1972 and 1988), Le Nozze di Figaro (Jill Grove as Marcellina, Merola 1995), and Die Fledermaus (Sara Catarine as Adele, Western Opera Theater 1993).

* Tattling * 
I mistakenly went through an unattended box that was evidently part of the rather long line to purchase items on Saturday, and was scolded roundly by the indignant woman to whom this box belonged despite the fact that she was on her mobile phone.