* Notes *
Yesterday mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens (pictured left in Act II, photograph by Cory Weaver) sang Cassandra in San Francisco Opera's Les Troyens. She sings again on June 20, 2015. Martens has a lovely resonant voice with powerful low notes and searing high ones. Compared to soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, with whom she shares the role, Martens is less raw and does not convey the same complete devastation. It is worth the effort to hear both singers, both are gratifying in different ways.
It was a delight to hear Maestro Donald Runnicles conduct the orchestra again. The woodwinds had a gorgeous, velvety sound, the strings shimmered, and the brass was bright and fluid. The chorus was powerful and the rest of the singing was consistently impressive.
* Tattling *
A woman in Box B whispered a lot during Act II. This might not have been noticed but her voice is high and squeaky, so I had to angle my chair in a way so I could focus on the orchestra.