Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Opera in the Park

Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart

Non so più cosa son, cosa faccio
Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart
Michèle Losier

Non più andrai
Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart
Luca Pisaroni

Giunse alfin il momento
Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart
Danielle de Niese

La luce langue
Macbeth, Verdi
Dolora Zajick

Avant de quitter ces lieux
Faust, Gounod
Brian Mulligan

Nemico della Patria
Andrea Chénier, Giordano
Marco Vratogna

Pourquoi me réveiller?
Werther, Massenet
Ramón Vargas

Rigoletto, Verdi
Brian Mulligan, Heidi Stober, Maya Lahyani, David Lomelí

Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini

Largo al Factotum
Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini
Lucas Meachem

Là ci darem la mano
Don Giovanni, Mozart
Luca Pisaroni, Danielle de Niese

La donna è mobile
Rigoletto, Verdi
David Lomelí

Vissi d'arte
Tosca, Puccini
Micaela Carosi

Viene la sera
Madame Butterfly, Puccini
Brian Jagde, Leah Crocetto

Nessun dorma
Turandot, Puccini
Marcello Giordani

O Sole Mio
Marcello Giordani, Brian Jagde, Ramón Vargas, David Lomelí

La Traviata, Verdi

September 12, 2010 at 1:30pm
Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park

Opera in the Park
I was in doubt about the weather for Sunday's annual Opera in the Park, but I eventually decided not to miss it, & the weather turned out to be fine. Plus, I could sit in a spot close to the stage simply by joining a friend who had been camped out since 9am. I later found out that a party even closer to the stage had arrived at 7am to claim their spot! The event is sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle, whose reps greet attendees by selling them $2 programs. Since I am too cheap to buy a program, the listing above is my reconstruction of the event. General Director David Gockley, casually dressed, hosted the show & announced a discount code of "SFOPARK" for 50% off tickets from the SF Opera Website.

All the singers sounded wonderful & got into the jolly spirit of the afternoon. The opening excerpts from The Marriage of Figaro made me very excited for an actual performance later this month. I have never been so close to Danielle de Niese before, & I may have uttered something uncharacteristically trivial when I first saw her that afternoon. The crowd cheered Dolora Zajick even before she started singing. She probably did not need to be miked. Ramón Vargas displayed an astonishing amount of vocal control & shading in just a couple of minutes in his aria from Werther. Lucas Meachem used Figaro's aria to flirt shamelessly & hilariously with the crowd. Brian Jagde & Leah Crocetto were so completely enrapt in the love duet from Madame Butterfly that even the chatty woman next to me, who talked through everything else, paid attention. The excerpts from Andrea Chénier & Rigoletto are apparently hints at up-coming seasons.

Many jokes were made onstage. When Mr. Gockley incorrectly announced one of the arias, Maestro Luisotti exclaimed, "He doesn't know the season!" Before singing La donna è mobile, David Lomeli went up to the podium to confer with Luisotti first, after which Luisotti told the audience, "He forgot the text!" At the choral section of Nessun dorma, Marcello Giordani gestured at the crowd & said, "Sing along!", & a few people with operatic voices actually did. As an encore, Marcello Giordani, Brian Jagde, Ramón Vargas & David Lomelí did the 3 Tenors one better with a 4 Tenors version of O Sole Mio, complete with competitive high notes.

The afternoon proved wacky in other ways as well. A woman in our party wore a large floppy hat & attracted the attention of a press photographer. & at the very start of the event, I discovered that a dog had gobbled the deli sandwich I negligently laid at my feet when I stood for the National Anthem. Such are the hazards of opera al fresco.


John Marcher said...

I would love to see Andrea Chénier. Did Gockley mention how long that 50% offer is good for?

I was going to go but ended up seeing Hanice Seigal down at Filoli.

Axel Feldheim said...

I don't think Gockley said when the code would be valid. I've just been on the opera's Web site, & I don't actually see a place to enter a discount code during the on-line order process, so maybe it's not active yet or it's only for selected performances. He did imply that the discount applies to all the fall productions.

Anonymous said...


you can enter the discount code here, but "sfopark" is not a valid code. I used Opera in the park code before. The offer is real, but it might not be actived yet, since the opera in the ballpark is this Friday?

Axel Feldheim said...

Hmmm. Thanks for the link & the update on the status of the code. Perhaps you are right that they will give it out again at the ball park, at which point it goes live. SF Opera has determined that the HD simulcast event does indeed generate additional ticket sales for them.