Further Casting Changes for SF Opera's Carmen
Nadine Sierra's Salon at the Rex

Don Giovanni Log

15. October 2011: Opening
Opera Tattler Review

18. October 2011: From the Orchestra
* Had a brief discussion about the cuts to the opera with Maestro Luisotti before the performance. When asked why the epilogue was cut, he simply answered that it was thus in the Vienna version. He also explained how the continuo was divided between his fortepiano playing and Bryndon Hassman's harpsichord.
* The overture was much more together, as was pretty much all the playing, except for the end of Act I.
* Shawn Mathey was more confident as Don Ottavio. He can always be heard, but his performance was not particularly nuanced. Some of the voiceless alveolar stops either had aspiration or were subsituted with alveolar flaps.
* Ellie Dehn unraveled during her first aria, "Or sai chi l'onore." She seems terrified of making mistake.
* Vocally, Kate Lindsey (Zerlina) is quite contained.
* Serena Farnocchia's breath control is lacking, but for Elvira, it seems fine.
* Marco Vinco's patter as Leporello is nearly perfect.
* There was some talking from certain audience members.

21. October 2011: From the Balcony
* Luisotti's fortepiano playing is charming and comic.
* A latecomer stuck in standing room saw fit to sit next to me for "Dalla su pace." She turned on her cellular phone, whose buttons intoned high pitches to indicate they were being pressed. She clapped for the tenor even though she spent the entire aria either on her phone or reading the program.
* The first cellist played "Batti, batti" beautifully.
* The audience clapped in before the music was over three times.
* Either the mechanism that is used for Don Giovanni's descent or the smoke machine makes a buzzing that is obvious from the back of the balcony.

23. October 2011: From the Balcony
* Everyone sounded more together and less frightened.
* The end of Act I was less chaotic.
* Lucas Meacham's voice is incredibly pretty. There was a point near the end of the Champagne aria where he sounds out of breath.
* Ellie Dehn's intonation was better.
* Serena Farnocchia swallowed fewer of her low notes at the ends of phrases.
* There were a lot of children at this performance. The smaller ones are invariably better behaved than the larger ones. This seems counterintuitive, shouldn't younger children have poorer impulse control?

26. October 2011: From the Orchestra
* Someone sounded squeaky during "Ho capito! Signor, sì."
* The orchestra was ahead of the singers at the beginning of "Là ci darem la mano."
* The two onstage orchestras for the Act I finale stood whilst playing, a detail I had missed before.
* Someone unfastened his or her shoes during the opera. The velcro straps were noisy.

29. October 2011: From the Boxes
* Quite a lot of fun watching the orchestra and Maestro Luisotti.
* The screens in the corners of the box level were not in use.
* From up close, Kate Lindsey's cartwheel during "Giovinette che fate all'amore" and Ryan Kuster's somersault in Act I Scene 19 were even more impressive.
* The French horns were clear in "Ho capito," and only one note in "Non mi dir" was less than perfect.
* The box subscribers were uncharacteristically silent, there was almost no talking in Boxes W, X, or Y. A bottle of carbonated water was opened during "Ah, fuggi il traditor."
* Ellie Dehn had a very good night, less pitchy and generally stronger.

2. November 2011: From the Balcony
* Pleased to note that the person sharing the bench with me in the balcony was also reading the score.
* Someone collapsed at the north doors of the balcony just before "Dalla su pace." It seemed quite serious, as the person was unconscious and the nurse was called to attend to him.

5. November 2011: From the Balcony
* There was an earthquake measuring 3.2 at 2:52pm. The epicenter was in Piedmont.
* Ellie Dehn sounded fragile during "Or sai chi l'onore." She seemed on the verge of cracking on the penultimate D of the aria.
* The flute, clarinet, and bassoon sounded particularly lovely in "Dalla su pace" this afternoon.

10. November 2011: From the Balcony
* The last performance was consistent with the previous few.
* The horns played cleanly.
* Luisotti was occasionally visible in some of the mirrors. One wonders why the director did not really make use of the mirrors, except to change the scenes.