* Notes *
San Francisco Opera's revival of Turandot (Susan Foster and Walter Fraccaro, in Act II pictured left, photograph by D. Ross Cameron/San Francisco Opera) returned for a second time this season with three new cast members and a fresh conductor yesterday evening. There were several synchronization problems between the singing and playing, and one got the sense that there were not enough rehearsals. Nonetheless, San Francisco Opera Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi had the orchestra sounding luxuriant and full.
The Timur, Christian Van Horn, sang with warmth and volume. Leah Crocetto continued to excel in Liù's "Tu che di gel sei cinta." Walter Fraccaro had some lovely plaintiveness to his singing, but he did, at times, strain to be heard. He sang "Nessun dorma" in the way we are accustomed, putting a fermata into the last "Vincerò." Susan Foster was a dynamic Turandot. Her facial expressions read well. Though some of her higher, louder notes were biting, her low notes had richness and were quite pretty.
* Tattling *
I was more discombobulated that usual, and brought a mug of tea into the orchestra level of the War Memorial without thinking. I was roundly scolded twice, and rightfully so. There was a lot of talking during the performance. A couple in L 1 and 3 spoke during the overture and were hushed by a prominent classical music critic. The person in M 5 fell asleep for most of the opera, and snored when Ping, Pang, and Pong sang at the beginning of Act II.