* Notes *
A co-production of Der fliegende Holländer (Greer Grimsley as the Dutchman and Lise Lindstrom as Senta pictured left, photograph by Cory Weaver) with Opéra Royal de Wallonie opened yesterday at San Francisco Opera.
Petrika Ionesco designed the set and was to have directed as well, but it seems that he was asked to leave, and as I understand it, the whole thing was re-staged in the last week or so. The result is rather tame, and does not include space ships, planets, and aliens that one may have heard about or even hoped for. More importantly, the cast is quite strong and the playing is clear and smooth. Maestro Patrick Summers was characteristically able in in his conducting, keeping the orchestra at an even clip and a sensible volume. The chorus sounded nice.
A.J. Glueckert made for a fine Steuermann, his voice is bright and unstrained. Ian Storey sounded pained as Erik. Kristinn Sigmundsson seemed an ideal Daland, singing with much warmth. Lise Lindstrom's San Francisco Opera debut went splendidly. Her Senta is sympathetic, her voice conveys emotion without being ugly. Likewise, Greer Grimsley sang the title role with feeling. He seemed tortured as appropriate for the Holländer, but his voice did not sound overtaxed.
* Tattling *
Standing room attendance more robust than for Falstaff. I arrived a bit after 7pm and had Standing Room Ticket 59.
The last row of the balcony was more or less empty, so a middle-aged woman in a short skirt climbed over from the second to last row to place herself unfortunately close to me. This revolting person ate some sort of Patina treat in cellophane during Act II, flicking the crumbs onto the floor. She took off her boots and placed her stockinged feet on an empty seat in front of her.