* Notes *
Last Friday Molly Fillmore replaced Nadja Michael as San Francisco Opera's penultimate performance of Salome this season. Evidently Michael had a throat infection, and Fillmore had to be flown in from Phoenix. I was not in attendance, but by all accounts, Ms. Fillmore sang well, she was less flat than Michael. However, her acting was less convincing, as was her movement, and I heard she may have had some trouble with a veil.
I believe I heard Molly Fillmore at the piano dress rehearsal on October 10th, as the person singing Salome that day was certainly not Michael. Luisotti and someone else both told her "Good job, Molly" at the end of the rehearsal. A good portion of the rehearsal was taken up by Maestro Luisotti trying to place the sawed-off bell of a sousaphone to best effect for Greer Grimsley's off-stage singing. Luisotti did not want to use non-acoustic amplification, and he worked with Giuseppe Finzi to get it just right.
Obviously, it was a piano rehearsal, so take my comments on all this with a grain of salt. Not everyone sang out, particularly because there was another Salome rehearsal that evening with the orchestra. Fillmore did not project youth, her hands were dead, and she fiddled with her costume. All understandable given that she probably had very little rehearsal time. The Dance of the Seven Veils was skipped over. Fillmore's singing was a bit shrill at the top of her tessitura. She was quite loud, and her intonation was good. Fillmore sings Salome at Arizona Opera on November 14 and 21.
* Tattling *
Rehearsals can be very goofy. It was charming to hear the back and forth between Luisotti and Finzi. Kim Begley did some very funny ballet moves at one point as well.