SFCM's Orpheus in the Underworld
April 04, 2009
* Notes *
SFCM Opera Theatre presented Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld this weekend. Bruno Ferrandis conducted with lightness and cheer, but there were several moments that were not synchronous. This seems to be a common problem at Cowell Theater, perhaps owing to some awkwardness of the pit, which is very narrow. The singing likewise was not always with the orchestra, some of the tempi were overly ambitious. The chorus was especially not together when they were made to sing on either side of the audience in the first half of the performance.
That aside, it was a delightful evening, and some of the singing was quite good. The music is likeable, and the can-can is certainly fun. The opera was set in 1960s San Francisco, which worked perfectly well and was entertaining. It was particularly amusing that Mount Olympus was the War Memorial Opera House, suggested by a projection of the proscenium. The choreography was strong, the students were able to pull it off to hilarious effect. The costumes were of good quality and were convincing.
* Tattling *
There was a fair amount of talking aloud during the beginning of the evening, but this relented after the intermission. Public Opinion's pink suit looked smart, but could have used one good once over with an iron, at least on the skirt.