* Notes *
The third Ring cycle at San Francisco Opera continued yesterday with Siegfried (Act II, Scene 3 pictured left, photo by Cory Weaver). The orchestra sounded better than ever under Donald Runnicles. The brass was particularly clean, especially in the Act I Vorspiel and before Brünnhilde makes her vocal entrance in Act III, Scene 3. A clarinet squeaked once in Act II, but overall playing of the clarinet and the rest of the woodwinds was gorgeous, the Woodbird music was very pretty. Again, the fire music at the end of Act III, Scene 2 was wonderful.
The singing was strong. Jay Hunter Morris (Siegfried) sounded young and sweet, his voice is more open and has a fuller bloom to it than when he debuted the role more than a month ago. His acting skills are evident, I especially liked watching him mimic the movements of Mime, sung by David Cangelosi. The latter gave a performance with great physicality and a full range of colors in the voice. Cangelosi enunciates well, yet maintains a bright lyricism. Mark Delavan (Wanderer) would occasionally be overwhelmed when we got to brass-heavy parts of the music, though perhaps this was only because my seat was right in front of that section. He did sing beautifully. Nina Stemme is a stunning Brünnhilde. At this point, it is hard to imagine anyone else in this role, as Stemme embodies the character so perfectly.
* Tattling *
The audience had a hard time being quiet during the music that did not include singing, but because the performance was so engaging, the talking was easy enough to ignore. At least no electronic noise was heard, at least, not on the orchestra level where I was seated. The person next to me in Row L Seat 6 took photographs of the projects at the top of Act II until the woman in M 4 hissed at him to stop.