* Notes *
The Auditions for the General Director of San Francisco Opera occurred last night after the matinée performance of Les Contes d'Hoffmann. The twenty-three singers in the Merola Opera Program performed, each accompanied by one of five apprentice coaches. There were some interesting tenors and mezzo-sopranos. The baritones, though all very loud and competent, seemed a little bland this year.
Mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb, tenor Issachah Savage, soprano Maria Valdes, mezzo-soprano Zanda Švēde, tenor Pene Pati, and mezzo-soprano Daryl Freedman were called back. Both of these tenors had a robust warmth and their own particular sound. Švēde was most distinctive of the these female singers, her voice is quite deep. Pati and Freedman were especially praised by David Gockley.
Of those not called back, Gockley seemed most enthused about baritone Chris Carr, soprano Aviva Fortunata, tenor Matthew Newlin, and bass-baritone Thomas Richards.