* Notes *
An adorable final performance of Rossini's La Cenerentola (Act I, Scene 1 pictured left; photograph by Cory Weaver) this season at San Francisco Opera was held last night. The cast was brimming with youthful energy. The male chorus sounded solid and executed the choreography with endearing aplomb. Zanda Švēde (Tisbe) and Maria Valdes (Clorinda) were suitably cloddish and funny. Christian Van Horn gave a dignified performance as Alidoro, sounding strong in "Là del ciel nell'arcano profondo." Carlos Chausson impressed as Don Magnifico, his parlando is excellent and his voice quite rich. Efraín Solís charmed as Dandini. René Barbera was a plaintive, earnest Don Ramiro. In the title role, Karine Deshayes sounded ethereal. There were times when it was difficult to hear her, but perhaps this was because of the set, which extends rather far upstage.
The orchestra gave an articulated and rather exciting performance as conducted by Maestro Jesús López-Cobos. There were times when chaos seemed imminent, as in the second act when the woodwinds were out of tune for a few seconds. But for the most part everyone stayed on track. Jean-Pierre Ponelle's production is winsome, the flat white and black set is sweet and the costumes are all rather cunning. The storm scene employs real water and a tiny dog. Gregory Fortner's direction was in keeping with the effervescence of the music.
* Tattling *
Those in Box P for this Thanksgiving's Eve performance were quiet and polite. There was much clatter of dishes from Box X.