* Notes *
Former General Director Lotfi Mansouri's production of Die Fledermaus was revived this season at San Francisco Opera and ends its run this Friday. Wolfram Skalicki's trompe-l'œil sets are reminiscent of Edward Gorey drawings. Thierry Bosquet's costumes are 19th century and suit the operetta. Peggy Hickey's choreography was a bit on the dull side, though it was funny when the quartet of dancers came out on stage in Hungarian dress as Rosalinde sang as the masked countess. To be fair, it was the ballet duet in the middle of Act II that was dull, the rest was passable and even quite cute.
The lead singers were consistent with each other, none stood out terribly as wonderful or terrible. There were times when soprano Christine Goerke strained her high notes as Rosalinde, and when countertenor Gerald Thompson shrieked his as Prince Orlofsky. The acting was convincing and of course, the actor who played Frosch amused everyone. It should be noted that current Adler fellow Eugene Brancoveanu (Frank) did an impressive somersault in Act III as he drunkenly stumbled around the jail.
* Tattling *
Joseph Sargent's preview lecture was worth going to, he was not one of these poor musicology graduate students that are forced to give these talks and who always seem to be spouting off nonsense in an embarrassingly halting manner. He used the Karajan recording for his musical examples. His pronouncation of "Sie" was rather inventive.
A patron complained to the house staff about a particularly aggressive volunteer usher. Apparently she often takes desirable seats in the orchestra, and the patron did not find this fair.
The interactive display for Tristan und Isolde in the lobby was quite loud. I noticed that Sharon, the volunteer usher who seems to be at the opera even more than the author of this blog, was in charge of getting the thing running during intermissions.
Last weekend was part of Fleet Week, and the Blue Angels were audible in the War Memorial during Die Fledermaus.