Alex Ross, someone I didn't recognize (but should have), and Ethan Iverson
The recap: last Friday, April 23, I didn't manage to see Magnifcat's Monteverdi Vespers of 1610, owing to tiredness and lack of patience with the parking situation at St. Patrick's Seminary. (Sorry, Warren - I really did want to hear it.) The critics were divided, with Anna Carol Dudley enthused but a little vague in San Francisco Classical Voice, while the Chron's Joshua Kosman found the performance "drab and dutiful."
I woke up Saturday morning and had breakfast; my partner and I got into the car so she could take me to BART. There was no traffic at all and so she offered to drive me to San Francisco. Off we went, arriving rather earlier than I'd planned. Bought my ticket, got some (not very good) coffee, spent some time chatting with Terri Stuart of the Wagner Society of Northern California.
The show was great fun. Alex read from the book, Ethan played. The program is here. You really have not lived until you hear Alex's impersonation of Mrs. Downes, mother of the critic Olin Downes, in a sort of Victor-Borge-meets-Julia-Child voice. I liked Ethan's playing very much. The Ives, Webern, Sibelius, and Ligeti were especially good; see Ethan's utterly fascinating blog posting about the works and the composers' pianism.
Afterward, a long chat-cum-catch-up with Sid Chen, whom I hadn't seen since the week we saw each other one night at a tremendous Trittico performance, then stood more or less together the next night through what we both found a dispiriting Trovatore. (Neither of us stood for the Noise Tour.) I missed Opera Tattler in the crowd, but did see a co-worker and hear some interesting news from him.
Sid and I stood in line to say hello to Alex and Ethan; we were at the very end of the line, so we may have gotten a bit more of their time than others. A man I didn't recognize asked to have his picture taken with the performers; Sid obligingly took some photos with Alex's camera and that of the gent who'd made the request. I pulled out my own camera for the heck of it, with the result you see at the head of this posting: Alex is in red, Ethan is in white, and, in the middle, the mystery man, who turned out to be the great Marc-Andre Hamelin, in town to play Mendelssohn with the San Francisco Symphony.