Monday, March 14, 2011

No Amplification

San Francisco Symphony tells me that Susannah Biller and Maya Lahyani were not amplified in last week's performances of the overture and complete incidental music from A Midsummer Night's Dream. I've updated my posting on the concert to so indicate and am stating it here for completeness. What it means is that Susannah Biller just didn't sound very good, alas. She was fine in The Makropoulos Case in November, so I have no idea what's going on here.


The Unrepentant Pelleastrian said...


No other issue in opera gets me more worked up than whether or not to use some type of amplification.

I enthusiastically APPROVE of it. As a matter of fact nothing would make me happier than to see opera managers focus primarily on the aural experience over the dramatic. Today things are just getting out of hand with all the focus on the visual (titles, scenery, Mr. Regie whatever, 3-D.


I have also heard people complain that the voices/music often sounded like a 'distant murmur' depending on where they sat.... Now that is frustrating.

I don't know why but my hunch is that Wagner would have embraced amplification as well.

(Ah, nothing like hearing the raspy Mime on good volume or Siegfried pound that anvil with some good amps)

Fasolt, Fafner, Erda, Donner...

Hindemith's Cardillac, Verdi's Falstaff, Pfitzner's Palestrina, Schoenberg's Moses und Aron, Messiaen's Saint Francis of Assisi, Smetana's The Bartered Bride, Lehar's The Merry Widow... the list goes on.

No seriously, I think we need to understand what electro-acoustic sound enhancement systems can offer before we dismiss them.

pjwv said...

Biller was also very good in Ensemble Parallele's Orphee, so, yeah, sounds as if it could be an unfortunate off night.