5th Performance of Lucia at SF Opera
July 01, 2008
* Notes *
The Sunday matinée performance of Lucia di Lammermoor at San Francisco Opera was quite crowded, despite the Pride events happening nearby. Giuseppe Filianoti (Edgardo) sounded less raveled and also more in tune. Gabriele Viviani (Enrico) was also sounding better. Cybele-Teresa Gouverneur was still inaudible in the sextet as Alisa, though I was able to hear her from Box X for the third performance. Natalie Dessay certainly remained the strongest element in this production, her mad scene in particular is luminous yet vulnerable.
I'm sad to admit it, but so far I just find Donizetti boring, even though I enjoy Bellini and Rossini. This was the 7th time I've attended one of Donizetti's operas, and I was more interested in reading the score than really listening to the music. Naturally, I only know three of his 75 operas, so of course it is absurd of me to dismiss his work at this point. However, I do not look forward to hearing L'elisir d'amore next season, even if the voice behind the blue space alien of Fifth Element fame is singing.
* Tattling *
This time I decided it would be best to try to read the score in the orchestra, as it was a full house and the balcony had been so tiresome the night before. It was more or less fine, there were the latecomers and such, but they did try to keep it down, as far as volume is concerned. A woman did bring her grade schooler to standing room. It doesn't make sense that the box office would even sell standing room tickets for children, as they cannot see over the railing. It just seems a little mean, though to be fair, the ticket seller probably did not know that someone would be silly enough to take her child to standing room.
One of the ushers had the child sit near me, far away from his mother who was leaning on the railing. The child simply played with his Nintendo DS. This was fine for the first act, as the music was loud, and he was not as bored initially. But by the time Act II rolled around, the child was scribbling furiously with his stylus and this combination of movement, noise, and light was distracting. I looked at him sternly and mouthed "Stop it!" three times before I moved to the other side of the house. After that I was able to concentrate without any trouble, so sometimes it is just best to walk away.