Alex Ross at JCCSF
Post L'elisir Talk (1/5)

Idomeneo Log

11. October 2008: Final Dress Rehearsal
Review from Dodaro

15. October 2008: Opening
Opera Tattler Review

18. October 2008: From the Orchestra
*
An announcement was made that Alice Coote was ill, but was graciously singing despite this. She started off poorly, but did sound lovely for the most part, at least in Acts II and III.
* There were many watch alarms, including one with at least 8 beeps in a row. One would think someone would tell the owner of the watch to turn it off, but no, it sounded at both 9pm and 10pm. Unfortunately, 9pm was during Ilia's "Se il padre perdei." Kurt Streit also coughed once as Genia Kühmeier sang this aria.
*
People whispered and talked quite a bit.
* Kurt Streit did not have as much trouble with his costume, it did not seem to get caught on the set this time. His singing is very compelling.
* Iano Tamar had more trouble with her "Tutte nel cor vi sento" than in the opening performance. She was more audible this time, but her intonation suffered. However, the other arias were better, especially "Idol mio."
*  I was very kindly given a third row seat in the premium orchestra section after the first intermission. It is incredible what one can see from that close up.

21. October 2008: From the Balcony
*
As I waited for standing room to open, I heard Genia Kühmeier practicing her first recitative and aria. Then someone was heard playing bagpipe from across the street.
* There are some cuts, but these are mostly of recitative.
*
The performance was consistent with the previous ones, Acts II and III are stronger than Act I.
* The pain in Kurt Streit's "Fuor del mar" is palpable.

24. October 2008: Daniela Mack as Idamante
*
An announcement was made that Alice Coote had hurt her back, and Daniela Mack was singing Idamante. Mack's vibrato is a bit too wide for Mozart. Though her voice is not as breathy, it lacks the warmth and resonance of Coote's.
* Two arias are cut from Act III, Arbace's "Se colà ne' fati è scritto" and Idomeneo's "Torna la pace al core."

* Most of the repeats are not taken.
The matinée audience was characteristically ill-behaved. Late-comers were boggled that they could not get to their seats and were kept in standing room. A particular woman with her child was especially irritating. Her mobile phone rang and she was unable to silence it without making a huge fuss. She also spoke aloud, and huffed when I hushed her. So much the worse for her, as she paid more attention to the recitatives and not the arias.
* There were many beeps, perhaps coming from the machine associated with OperaVision on the north side of the building in balcony standing room. Someone came to look at the machine during the second intermissions, but it still seemed to make noises.

28. October 2008: Daniela Mack from the Orchestra
*
Evidently, they did not want to pay for someone better suited to the role of Idamante as the cover. It is too bad, given that Mack does have a good voice, it is just not shown to best effect here.
* Kurt Streit sounded like he was on the verge of breaking, one felt like his voice would crack at any moment during Acts II and III. This was exciting, but scary.

* There were numerous beeps and some feedback, perhaps from OperaVision, though it was difficult to pin-point.

* The audience was pretty quiet, though someone had a rather loud, rustling jacket in standing room.

31. October 2008: Halloween
* Unfortunately, Alice Coote did not end up returning for the last performance. Daniela Mack still sounded tentative, her first aria was shaky ("Non ho colpa"), though her second one ("l padre adorato") went better. She sounded fine in the quartet in Act III.

* Kurt Streit sounded less on edge than in the penultimate performance. His vibrato could be somewhat wide, but still controlled.

* I hope to hear Genia Kühmeier again soon, her voice is just so lovely.

* Something must have happened during the overture, as there was much giggling at one point.

* There was no noticeable electronic noise, interestingly.

* The audience was fairly good, but there were a couple of latecomers that talked for an incredible length of time and had no regard for the various people giving them dirty looks.

* For Halloween, I dressed as Carmen, and someone had her photo taken with me.

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