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The Met's 2014-2015 Season

Metropolitan_Opera_House_At_Lincoln_Center_2September 22- December 20 2014: Le Nozze di Figaro
September 23 2014- January 24 2015 : La Bohème
September 24- October 18 2014: Macbeth
September 30 2014- March 7 2015: Carmen
October 6- November 8 2014: Die Zauberflöte
October 20- November 15 2014: The Death of Klinghoffer
October 30 2014- April 20 2015: Aida
November 10-29 2014: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
November 18- December 6 2014: Il Barbiere di Siviglia
December 2-23 2014: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
December 11 2014- January 24 2015: La Traviata
December 18 2014- January 8 2015: Hansel and Gretel
December 31 2014- May 7 2015: The Merry Widow
January 12- March 21 2015: Les Contes d'Hoffmann
January 26- February 21 2015: Iolanta / Duke Bluebeard's Castle
February 4- March 6 2015: Don Giovanni
February 16- March 14 2015: La Donna del Lago
March 9-28 2015: Manon
March 16- April 10 2015: Lucia di Lammermoor
March 20- April 11 2015: Ernani
March 30- April 25 2015: Don Carlo
April 14- May 8 2015: Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci
April 23- May 9 2015: Un Ballo in Maschera
May 1-9 2015: The Rake's Progress

The Met announced the 2014-2015 season today. The new productions are Le Nozze di Figaro, The Death of Klinghoffer, The Merry Widow, Iolanta, Duke Bluebeard's Castle, La Donna del Lago, Cavalleria Rusticana, and Pagliacci.

Online 2014-2015 Brochure | Official Site

Philippe Jaroussky & VBO at GMC

Philippe_jaroussky__c_simon_fowler_licensed_to_virgin_classics* Notes * 
Countertenor Philippe Jaroussky (pictured left, photograph by Simon Fowler) is currently on tour with Orchestra Barocca di Venezia (VBO) and performed yesterday at Sonoma State University's Green Music Center. The program is entitled "A Legendary Battle: Farinelli & Porpora vs. Carestini & Händel" and includes instrumental works by both composers interspersed with eight arias written for castrasti. VBO seems to consist of a harpsichordist, eight violinists, two violists, two cellists, a bassist, a bassoonist, a lute player, two oboists, and two horns. The playing was best when the tempi were meant to be brisk and the volume loud. The quieter, slower Minuetto of Porpora's Overture from Il Germanico was slightly lax. The Largo e piano of Händel's Concerto Grosso in A Minor was unfocused compared to the Allegro movements that proceeded and followed it. Händel's Concerto Grosso in G Major has three Allegro movements, and certainly was the most charming of the instrumental selections.

Jaroussky sounded as sublime as ever. His voice has such an open ease to it. He sang Porpora's "Mira in cielo" from Arianna e Teseo and "Si pietoso il tuo labro" from Semiramide riconsciuta with haunting beauty. The two arias from Händel's Alcina, "Mi lusinga il dolce affeto" and "Stà nell'Ircana pietrosa tana" also came off well. The different colorings of the word "cacciator" in the latter alone were impressive. Likewise, after intermission Jaroussky did splendidly with Händel's "Agitato da fiere tempeste" from Oreste and "Scherza infida" from Ariodante. The concert ended with two arias from Porpora's Polifemo and the encore was Geminiano Giacomelli's "Sposa, non mi conosci."

* Tattling * 
The audience members were, for the most part, quiet. No electronic noises were noted. The woman in the third row from the stage, Seat 9, insisted on talking to both her neighbors, one of whom was her daughter. She did stop vocalizing after being hushed twice, but also had the sniffles and may have fallen asleep. She and her daughter did have the good sense to leave after the interval.

SF Opera Audited Financial Results 2012-2013

10--CapuletiSan Francisco Opera's 90th season started on September 7, 2012 and finished on July 7, 2013. Eight operas were held at the War Memorial Opera House in 67 performances. The Company concluded Fiscal Year 2012-13 (FY 13) with a deficit of $811,915 on an operating budget of $68,707,049. Total operating revenue for FY 13 grew from $32,955,687 to $30,808,345, with income from ticket sales for FY13 at $19,785,866 compared to the season prior (FY12) at $24,302,997. Contributions to the FY13 Annual Fund reflected a 4.4% increase over the previous year and hit a new Company record level of $37,086,789 in financial support from approximately 8,000 donors.

Press Release | Official Site

ABS performs Magnificat

Bach-magnificat* Notes *
Last weekend American Bach Soloists performed a program consisting entirely of works by Johann Sebastian Bach. Last Sunday's San Francisco concert began with the very cheery and sycophantic "Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!" The ensemble, conducted by ABS Music Director Jeffrey Thomas, played neatly. The tenor, Guy Cutting, was slightly blustery, while soprano Clara Rottsolk sounded quite clear. Countertenor Eric Jurenas has a somewhat manic edge to his voice, but was much easier to hear than baritone William Sharp, who would occasionally blend in with the orchestra. The chorus was lovely.

The Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor that followed featured flautist Sandra Miller, who played beautifully and was well-supported by the rest of the musicians. After intermission we heard the cantata "Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir" and were invited to join in for the chorale. The evening ended with Magnificat. The playing was tidy. The soloists sounded wonderful together, the alto and tenor duet with Jurenas and Cutting was particularly nice, as was the trio with sopranos and alto.

* Tattling *
The audience was silent and attentive. I was impressed by how well the chorale went.