La Scala Strike
Sum Up of Summer Madness at SF Opera

Ariodante Log

13. June 2008: Final Dress Rehearsal
Opera Tattler Review

15. June 2008: Opening
Opera Tattler Review

18. June 2008: From Box Q
* People clapped for Ruth Ann Swenson when she entered, interrupting the music.
* The floor is squeaky, especially when the dancers are doing pas jetés.
* Susan Graham missed a line in the duet at the end of Act I and looked visibly confused.
* Some audience members whispered during the opera, then at the end whilst clapping, stated it was a once in a lifetime performance.
* There was some talking coming from back stage in Act III, it felt like a slap in the face.
* Ruth Ann had a better performance this time than the opening.

21. June 2008: Cuts in this Production (Besides the 3 Ballets)
* Recitative in Act I Scene VII between Il Re and Odoardo
* Recitative in Act II Scene IV between Polinesso and Dalinda
* Dalinda's Arioso in Act II Scene IV "Se tanto piace al cor"
* Il Re's Aria in Act III Scene IV "Al sen ti stringo, e parto"
* Part of Lurcanio and Dalinda's Duetto in Act III Scene IX

24. June 2008: In the Heavens without a Score
* A late watch alarm sounded during the overture.
* Ruth Ann Swenson's held low note (an F?) in the first aria was strange.
* Verónica Cangemi had a rough start, both shaky and gasping.
* The horn trill in "Voli colla sua tromba la fama" near the beginning of the dal segno was not clear. 
* "Scherza infida" was wonderful, but there were high pitched noises coming from the microphones above the orchestra pit at the end.
* A cellular phone rang during the recicative between Lurcanio and Il Re in Act II Scene VIII.
* I was introduced to bassoonist Rufus Oliver.

27. June 2008: Checking the Cuts
* Confirmed all the cuts listed above.
* The B section and dal segno are omitted from an aria sung by Ginvera in Act III Scene IV.
* Ruth Ann Swenson's held low note in the first aria is at the end of her cadenza. She hit it exactly the same way, an indeterminate pitch that seems slightly too low for her.
* I had a bout of coughing during "Prendi da questa mano," so left for a minute to get some water.
* Cangemi was better in "Il Primo Ardor" this time, though her high notes were harsh in her Act III aria.  
* There was a distinct high-pitched sound coming from above the orchestra in "Scherza Infida" again.
* The horns sounded great, "Voli colla sua tromba la fama" was done very well. There was one hilarious intonation error just before Act II Scene VI.
* During Lurcanio's Act II aria, a man walked from the left side of the balcony to the right to get to the restroom, jangling his keys the whole way. He was asked to be quiet by an usher.
* I met sfmike of Civic Center in standing room, and was introduced to Patrick Vaz of The Reverberate Hills.

1. July 2008: Standing Room in the Orchestra Again
* It is the first half of the recitative in Act I Scene VII that is cut, from the words "Vanne pronto, Odoardo."
* The whole of the recitative "Lo stral ferì nel segno" in Act II Scene IV is cut.
* An exchange between Lurcanio and Dalinda in their Duetto in Act III Scene IX is cut, omitting from "Dunque amasti? O Dio, che sento."
* The choreography for this production is artificial, something I hadn't noticed before as I haven't really been watching the opera lately, only listening.
* Ruth Ann's held low note in the first aria at the end of her cadenza was on and sounded correct.
* The horns were fine, only slightly fuzzy at a few points at the more difficult parts.
* Cangemi was good. Her last aria was hysterical, but not inappropriate.
* Susan Graham fell before her second to last entrance, but she wasn't entirely on stage yet. She maintained her composure.  
* There was a distinct high-pitched sound coming from above the orchestra in the middle of Eric Owens' second aria, "Invida sorte avara."
* Heavy breathing was noted in standing room, but people were rather well behaved this evening. Someone did speak to himself, but not during the singing.
* Some walkie talkie noise was noted during Act II, but there were no other electronic sounds from the audience, at least, not around me.
* A reader of this blog spoke to me in the standing room line, it was nice to hear that I entertain people.
* I met M. C- of The Standing Room in standing room line, but did not get to speak to him as much as I would have liked.

6. July 2008: Final Performance
* Before the performance started Franklin "Pitch" Johnson, Jr. handed off a baton to John Gunn as the new chairman of the SF Opera Board.
* Someone in Box T answered her cellular phone during Ruth Ann's first aria, though she did exit the box before doing so.
* The singing was very strong as was the playing, as one would expect for the last performance of a run.
* Walkie talkie noise was noted in Act III just before "Da dubbia infausta sorte," at least no was music interrupted.
* A few high pitched noises were noted, though not at crucial moments.
* Ruth Ann Swenson received the San Francisco Opera medal, she gave a short speech and she sounded distinctly like a New Yorker.
* After the opera I waited at the stage door and introduced myself to Ruth Ann Swenson and Susan Graham. I felt highly absurd.