Monday, August 31, 2009

A Night at the Opera, Ballpark Edition

You can see San Francisco Opera's season-opening Il Trovatore free at the S.F. ballpark, on September 19, 2009, at 8 p.m. The cast looks good (Sondra Radvanovsky, Stephanie Blythe, Marco Berti, Dmitri Hvorostovsky) and new music director Nicola Luisotti conducts. Having heard him in his previous outings, he'd be worth going for even if I were singing all four leads.

I have never been to one of these events, so I can't report on sound quality, but the screen is immense, 103 feet wide. You'll be able to see the pores on the singers' faces, I'm sure.

It's best to get tickets in advance, though I believe they have not quite filled the ballpark on previous outings. Go here to sign up. You can order up to four tickets, and if the ticketing works as in prior years, you print them yourself.


pjwv said...

Someone should really do a one-woman Trovatore.

Lisa Hirsch said...

You're sure Anna Russell didn't?

Warren Stewart said...

I just posted an article (Is Every Performance "Site Specific"?) in response to Chloe Veltman's commentary on the notion of “site specific theatre” with reference to the recent production of Dido and Aeneas by San Francisco’s Urban Opera (“Not All Site Specific Theatre is Created Equal”).

She proposed that “in order for a theatrical production to be site specific, it needs to be conceived specifically for the space in which it is produced,” and therefore “space becomes a performer, with the potential to change the entire relationship between text, visuals, sounds and the human body in fascinating ways.”

In the context of her article I personally like her narrow definition, but it got me thinking that since any work of performance art exists only in the moment of performance, each performance is in some sense a new work, created freshly in a new “site” and therefore “site specific” for that performance.

But this ballpark performane adds a whole new perspective, since in this case the audience and performers are not in the same site. "Site Un-Specific Performance"?

Lisa Hirsch said...

Hey, Warren! Thank you for posting here - I'm a great admirer of your work with Cal Bach and now Magnificat. Excellent comments; I will read your article and Chloe Veltman's and see what I think.

I liked the Urban Opera Dido a great deal.

Paul Muller said...

I hope we can get a review of the experience. I'm really curious as to how it will work out...

Warren Stewart said...

Thanks Lisa! It's a fascinating topic, though there are practical considerations. One of the UO Dido musicians wrote to me "lamenting":

"Having now played four outdoor performances in the past couple weeks (one last night in Petaluma), three of which (including last night) were freezingly cold, I have to agree with Belinda regarding performance venues: Haste, haste, to town! This open field, no shelter."

Lisa Hirsch said...

It was mighty chilly the night I saw Dido and I did not envy the players and singers even though they got to move around.