SF Opera's Annual Meeting 2009
April 17, 2009
* Notes *
San Francisco Opera's Annual Meeting for 2009 was held yesterday afternoon, over in one of the rehearsal halls in Davies. Board of Directors President George H. Hume, General Director David Gockley, and CFO Michael Simpson all gave reports. The mood is considerably more gloomy than last year, the endowment is down by some $30-35 million, though ticket sales are quite strong. The Netrebko performances of La Traviata are sold-out, and Porgy and Bess will undoubtedly sell out as well. It was admitted that the cinemacasts have not been a success, and that the Met has a stranglehold on distribution to the major cinemas.
In addition to canceling Peter Grimes next season, San Francisco Opera has reduced the number of performances, limited rehearsal times, cut a revival of La Bohème, and is not putting on family performances next year. However, three cycles of Der Ring will be performed in 2011, in the style of Bayreuth.
The War Memorial Veterans Building is slated to be seismically retrofitted, and an annex may be added to alleviate some of the space limitations the opera has. Apparently San Francisco Opera has storage space out in Potrero Hill, a costume shop in SOMA, and an annex on Ivy Street. SFJAZZ has plans to move over to a new venue on Franklin near Fell, so it may also be the case that some smaller scale works may have a chance to be performed by San Francisco Opera in Herbst.
There were five Adlers that performed, sopranos Leah Crocetto and Tamara Wapinsky, mezzo Daniela Mack, tenor Alek Shrader, and pianist Allen Perriello. Shrader's diction and control were good in "Ich baue ganz," though he sounded constrained at the top of his voice. Crocetto gave a powerful performance of "My man's gone now," she really sounded like she could shatter glass with her voice. Wapinsky sang "O mio babbino caro" fairly well, she has a lot of vibrato, but she stayed in tune. Mack and Shrader were perfectly charming in "Un soave non so che," both were deft and light in their approach.
* Tattling *
A cellular phone rang as Gockley introduced Crocetto. Also, it was confirmed that Le Nozze di Figaro is slated for 2010-2011, with Luisotti conducting. We also may well hear Dead Man Walking in the next 5 or 6 years.