* Notes *
The last opera of the year at San Francisco Opera will be Manon Lescaut this Sunday. Overall, this production was the best of the seven, because the cast is strong and the set design is neither distracting nor nonsensical. It is interesting to note that Carmen sold out for the last three performances, and the singers sharing the title role are both newcomers. Manon Lescaut was not completely full yesterday, nor is the final performance sold out, despite Karita Mattila. Perhaps this opera is too obscure, when I've mentioned it in passing, many people have not known of it, nor of Abbé Prévost's book.
I am quite curious to hear Karita Mattila sing in Wagner, I have only heard her sing music that I am not particularly interested in, Puccini this time and Janáček a few seasons ago. Her voice has such beauty and intensity. This time around I noticed that tenor Misha Didyk has a lot of vibrato, but not so much to ruin his intonation. He also sounds better when warm, his Act I performance is certainly not as good as in the others.
* Tattling *
Someone came to the stage when the curtain was supposed to rise, and he assured us that Karita was fine, but some orchestra members were stuck in Bay Bridge traffic. Subsequently, the curtain time was pushed back 20 minutes.
Because of the late start, there were no latecomers in the boxes. However, some girls decided to come into Box X toward the end of the intermezzo between Acts II and III. I was sitting at the back of the box as to not crowd anyone, and one of the girls sat directly in front of me and perched on the chair so that all I could see was the back of her head. To add injury to insult, the girls whispered throughout Act III, though they did leave after the act was finished.