Wispelwey Plays Bach Cello Suites
SF Opera's Barbiere (Shrader, Muraro, Iversen, Mack)

SF Opera's Barbiere (Camarena, Corbelli, Meachem, Leonard)

Sf-opera-barbiere-act2-2013* Notes * 
Last night a co-production of Il barbiere di Siviglia (Act II pictured left, photograph by Cory Weaver) with Lithuanian National Opera opened at San Francisco Opera. Llorenc Corbella's set includes few walls on a raised platform meant to look like either the outside of Bartolo's house, or an interior courtyard, or the inside of the house, depending on the scene. The direction, from Emilio Sagi, has charm but is rather busy.

The orchestra sounded clear and fleet under Giuseppe Finzi. There were a few moments that were a little too loud, but not many. The oboe and clarinet were particularly fine. The chorus also sounded strong and together.

It is nice to hear Ao Li on the main stage, even if only in the small role of Fiorello. A.J. Glueckert is funny as Ambrogio and works well with Catherine Cook's hearty Berta. Likewise Andrea Silvestrelli is a rich-toned Don Basilio.

Alessandro Corbelli is a more than competent Doctor Bartolo, his patter is impressive. Lucas Meachem has perfect comic timing and a robust voice. Isabel Leonard makes for an attractive Rosina, her voice is dusky but has a lightness. Her "Una voce poco fa" was a bit too stately, but the audience liked her very much. Javier Camarena is a sweet-voiced Almaviva. His legato is lovely, and his sound as a certain open quality that is appealing.

* Tattling * 
Standing room attendance was sparse, I purchased my ticket at 6:20pm and had Standing Room Ticket 16.

There were only a few late-comers on the Balcony Level, and only one of them had a mobile phone that chimed once, during some Act I recitative.