(The first of a series of catch-up blog postings, most started contemporaneously with the performance I'm commenting on.)
Apparently I'm the only person in the Bay Area who didn't love Iphegenie en Tauride, the surprise hit of San Francisco Opera's 2007 summer season. I'm getting some email brickbats over it, so, explanations herewith.
Most importantly, the music did not engage me the way it evidently engaged everyone else. Yes, the score has many beauties - the glorious choral writing and the moment of recognition, among others. But the extreme restraint and classical balance just didn't appeal to me in my mood of the day.
Now, I was not expecting Strauss's Elektra, an opera where the extremity of the musical expression matches the emotional tone of the libretto. But the production, with the writhing bodies and principals staggering around and suffering a great deal, looked more appropriate for Elektra than for the music I was hearing. So there was a disconnect between the visual and the aural. In addition, sitting in the orchestra, somewhat to the side, the principal singers all seemed a size too small for the house, even with the comparatively light orchestration, as wonderful as Susan Graham was. (To my mind, this means the opera itself belongs in a smaller house.) Bo Skovhus sounded sadly worn for a pretty young guy.
Whether I would have liked a more classical production better, I don't know. It Depends.
That said, there was one major delight, the surprise of Heidi Melton's Diana flooding the house with sound from somewhere up in the balconies. Woot!