* Notes *
Last night Donald Runnicles conducted a performance of Verdi's Requiem at San Francisco Opera. Both the orchestra and the chorus were in fine form. The woodwinds sounded particularly lovely, and the brass was quite clear. There were only a few poor moments in the "Agnes Dei" and the "Libera me."
The soloists all had a lot of power. Andrea Silverstrelli's voice seemed bottomless, perfectly beautiful and even throughout his range. Stefano Secco was slightly constrained at the top of his voice, but never got lost, despite the immenseness of the voices around him. Stephanie Blythe had an auspicious debut at San Francisco Opera, she did begin with a lot of vibrato, but has a gorgeous, rich voice. Heidi Melton was an excellent substitution for the indisposed Patricia Racette.
* Tattling *
The audience was respectful and was, for the most part, entirely silent. There were at least 5 children in the boxes, and none of them made any fuss at all. A young couple in Box S whispered just a tiny bit whilst the orchestra was playing, at some point in the middle of the performance.
Maestro Runnicles was presented with the San Francisco Opera Medal after David Gockley, George H. Hume, and John A. Gunn all spoke. Gunn had a bit of trouble finding the medal, but managed after fumbling through his pockets. Maestro also spoke, mentioning the adventuresomeness of the San Francisco Opera audience.