Ailyn Pérez in SF Opera's Traviata
Sum Up of SF Opera's 2008-2009 Season

Last Performance of Runnicles as SF Opera's Music Director

Photo by Kristen Loken Anstey  * Notes *
Thursday's B cast performance of La Traviata at
San Francisco Opera marked the end of Donald Runnicles' tenure as Music Director. Elizabeth Futral still sounded shrill in Act I, but improved as the night wore on. David Lomelí seemed restrained, but sang beautifully, especially at the beginning of Act II. Stephen Powell's Germont, was consistent, his voice is warm and pleasant.

Futral definitely looked best in the Jazz Age costumes. In this performance she did not kick her shoes off for "Sempre Libera," and Lomelí carried her to the bed at the end of that act. She also had an actual letter in Act III, which wasn't the case with Netrebko or Perez, if memory serves. Powell's choreography was different than Croft's, Powell did not embrace Futral at all, and he did not enter with open arms at the end of Act II Scene 1.

* Tattling * 
The people in Box V talked during the quiet parts of the music. Otherwise, there were some watch alarms, but nothing else terribly noisy. There was less laughter than usual, though there was some giggling when Annina says "Quest'oggi, è vero? Vi sentite meglio?" in Act III.

Many bouquets were laid on the conductor's music stand and many more thrown on the stage during the ovation. Maestro Runnicles threw a couple bouquets up to his daughters in Box A.