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David Lomelí Interview

Sum Up of SF Opera's 2009-2010 Season

SFWMOHLobbySouth San Francisco Opera's 2010-2011 season starts in less than a fortnight, and rehearsals are in full swing for Aida, Werther, and Le Nozze di Figaro. It seems like a good time to take a look back on the previous year.

Last season started off with a glorious Il Trovatore, with Sondra Radvanovsky. Il Trittico also impressed, the production was effective, Ewa Podleś and Paolo Gavanelli made significant contributions as far as singing. On the other hand, one of my favorite operas, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, was disappointing, despite a sweet set and some pretty singing. The muddled English dialogue did not help. La fille du régiment had great singing from Diana Damrau and Juan Diego Flórez. The staging was adorable, but Donizetti did not captivate me. Salome was extremely disturbing, Nadja Michael acted the title role with conviction. The orchestra sounded particularly lush here. The Otello that ended 2009 was much better than the last run of this opera we had in 2002.

As for the Summer part of the season, the highlight was definitely Die Walküre. Such gorgeous singing all around, and beautiful playing from the orchestra. Faust was lackluster, but the end was gorgeous. La Fanciulla del West was fun, and I was glad to have a chance to hear this opera, finally.

There was not tons of backstage noise, none of the sets were very loud. The Il Trovatore simulcast did very well, and this year Aida will be shown at AT&T Park. The SF Opera podcast continues not to be updated, but SF Opera has a brand new Twitter account. The audience was not the worst, but there were a few mobile phone rings and of course, watch alarms. Talking and whispering were certainly noted.

My favorite opera performances of the season, other than Die Walküre, did not happen at the War Memorial. Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra turned out a breathtaking Dido and Aeneas, and Susan Graham was absolutely fantastic in this. Also incredible were the LA Ring, Cecilia Bartoli and Andreas Scholl in Giulio Cesare at Salle Pleyel, The Nose at the Met, and Ensemble Parallèle's Wozzeck.