Monday, April 02, 2007

KDFC SF Opera Broadcast

Last night was the first broadcast of the SF Opera by KDFC Classical 102.1 FM. On the 1st Sunday of the month for the next several months KDFC will be broadcasting previously recorded performances from the current SF Opera season. This is another of General Director David Gockley's innovations, & I approve.

This first broadcast was Puccini's Manon Lescaut, led by Donald Runnicles & with Karita Matilla in the title role. The program was all meat. There were just short breaks between acts to give the plot summaries & the cast, & there was minimal advertising.

In a brief interview before the broadcast, Gockley said he chose this performance to open the series because he wanted to start off with his best. No kidding. I hadn't heard this opera before, & its sensationalism grabbed me immediately. Manon is transported to a prison in Louisiana in the 3rd act, only to die on a plain outside New Orleans in the 4th act! (Made me wonder what an opera Puccini could have made out of McTeague.) The orchestra sounded great, Matilla is a dramatic powerhouse, & I'm sorry I missed it.

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