* Notes *
Last week the San Francisco Conservatory Opera Program held two performances of L'elisir d'amore. The charming production marked the debut of director Jose Maria Condemi, who is incoming Director of Opera at the school. The spacious set (pictured left) features a runway downstage of the orchestra pit, and different levels upstage. The costumes looked to be from the 1940s.
Proceedings were rather lively, the young singers moved vivaciously. There was much physical humor, and Daniel Cameron was particularly amusing as Belcore. Evan Kardon (Adina) was hilarious in "Io son ricco e tu sei bella," rowing in an inappropriate but entertaining style. Sergey Khalikulov's Dulcamara was funny as well.
As for the music, most of the voices were bright and light, perfect for this opera. Mario Rojas (Nemorino) sang "Una furtiva lagrima" with beauty, and the bassoonist played nicely. Sabrina Romero's pretty voice suited Giannetta, and was a contrast to Kardon, whose sound is stronger and more piercing.
Scott Sandmeier conducted a spirited orchestra. The playing was rapid but mostly together, with only a few squeaks here and there.
* Tattling *
The Saturday performance was sold out. There was a distressing amount of talking from many audience members.