Opera San José's Idomeneo
MMDG's Dido and Aeneas

Puccini and Lucca in San Francisco

Nicola_Luisotti_by_John_Martin_2 * Notes * 
The Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco has collaborated with the Giacomo Puccini Foundation, the City of Lucca, Associazione Lucchesi nel Mondo, San Francisco Opera, and San Francisco Opera's BRAVO! Club to host an exhibition entitled "Puccini and Lucca in San Francisco," which opened on September 15 and will close October 13. The exhibition includes several panels that feature images related to Puccini and his native city. Several costumes from San Francisco Opera's Tosca, Suor Angelica, Turandot, and La Bohème are also being displayed.

At the opening last night, San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti (pictured above, photograph by John Martin), spoke briefly in Italian about Puccini. Thankfully, the Event Coordinator of Italian Cultural Institute was game enough to give an impromptu translation of his remarks. Luisotti is from the same province as Puccini, and has been performing his music in one capacity for decades. It turns out that an uncle of Maestro Luisotti, one Don Guido Luisotti, was friend with Puccini himself. Apparently a hunting invitation to Don Guido from Puccini even survives. The evening also included San Francisco Conservatory of Music's Ian Scarfe playing Puccini on piano as guests viewed the exhibit or chatted to each other.

* Tattling * 
I had been invited to this reception by Luisotti's publicist, as I have generally gone out of my way to avoid Bravo! events. I must have made some flippant remark about my distaste for the Bravo! Club, because evidently a certain other publicist conveyed my aversion to one of their board members. In any case, everyone I met at this event was quite pleasant, and it was an amusing opportunity to practice Italian.