San Francisco Opera had a press conference this morning to announce the 2008-09 season, and here's what it looks like, briefly:
- Simon Boccanegra; Runnicles/Hvorostavsky, Frittoli, Kowaljow, Haddock
- The Bonesetter's Daughter (Wallace); Sloane/Cao, Liang, Yi
- Die Tote Stadt; Runnicles/Kerl, Magee, Meacham
- Idomeneo; Runnicles/Streit, Coote, Tamar
- Boris Godunov; Sinaisky/Ramey, Kowaljow, Grivnov, Ognovenko
- L'Elisir d'Amore; Campanella/Vargas, Mula, Corbelli
- La Boheme; Luisotti/Gheorghiu, Beczala, Viviani, Ansellem
- Three Decembers (Heggie); Summers/von Stade, Phares, Kristin Clayton
- Tosca; Armiliato/Pieczonka, Aronica, Ataneli
- The Gershwins Porgy & Bess; DeMain/cast not announced
- La Traviata; Runnicles/Netrebko, Castronovo, Croft
Commissions are great, in principle, but I don't have much hope for either of the new works, based on what I remember - or don't - of Harvey Milk and Dead Man Walking, CNN operas to the core. I expect that at best they'll be inoffensive and forgettable, both of which are offensive to me. I'm not a Gershwin fan, so while it'll be interesting to see Porgy, it's not my first choice of 20th c. American operas for SF to stage. I mean, I can't be the only person faintly embarrassed by the dialect.
Beyond the commissions, Boris, Die tote Stadt, Boccanegra, and Idomeneo, in fact, who cares? Two Puccinis, Traviata, and Elisir? Yes, with good casts, but....
[I predicted to a friend after I saw the announcement that he'd be missing Pamela Rosenberg within two years, if Gockley's programming continues to play it this safe. He gave me a lecture about the financial health of the company. Well, even newbies and the conservative get tired of Puccini and, one hopes, Donizetti. Bring back the Berlioz and Janacek, please. Please? Patrick Vaz at The Reverberate Hills agrees with me, with much greater eloquence.]