* Notes *
Malgorzata Walewska took the stage as Azucena in San Francisco Opera's Il Trovatore last night. Walewska certainly came across as crazy, more so than Stephanie Blythe, with whom she is sharing the role. Unfortunately Walewska's voice did not project well over the orchestra, and when she sang with Marco Berti this was especially obvious. Berti's voice soared over the pit, whereas Walewska's simply blended into the sound of the orchestra. Perhaps it is just as well, the way she pushed the top of her voice was not pleasant, though the middle of her voice was very pretty.
The orchestra had a good amount of fire, and Luisotti kept everyone together without being the least bit dull. The chorus sounded gorgeous, and all of the singing was quite fine. Burak Bilgili (Ferrando) was better and sang more fluidly. As the Count, Dmitri Hvorostovsky still was not sounding his best, somewhat gritty and breathy in his last performance of this run. Likewise, Marco Berti and Sondra Radvanovsky were both consistent in their strong performances.
* Tattling *
The Russian speakers in Box W whispered despite being hushed, but at least the noise was not incessant. Someone in Box V or W was photographing Hvorostovsky as he sang, and the camera being used kept beeping though it did not flash. The person in Row B Seat 3 of the orchestra had her mobile device on for most of "D'amor sull'ali rosee."