- Kristin Sigmundsson to sound awful, based on June's Magic Flute
- Brian Mulligan to be a very good King's Herald
- Gerd Grochowski to know how the music should go but lack enough voice to do what he wanted to do with it
- Petra Lang to be a pretty good Ortrud, based on her Venus in 2007
- Camilla Nylund to be a good Elsa, based on reports from a friend
- Brandon Jovanovich to shout a lot, based on last year's Siegmund
- Nicola Luisotti to be dubious. I hated his Salome.
- Sigmundsson was a completely respectable, at times much better than that, King Henry. Sure, he is audibly approaching retirement, but I have heard much, much worse, from him and other contemporaries.
- Yep, Mulligan was a very good King's Herald. Okay, better than that: I'll take him up to excellent.
- Grochowski was exactly what I expected. He's a good singer, but Wagner? Not enough voice. His bio in the program says he is slated for some Wotans. No way, no how, unless they're in a 900 seat theater someplace.
- Lang absolutely sucked. Hooty, pushed, glottal attacks in about every other phrase, and just plain unpleasant to listen to most of the time. One of the worst performances in a major role that I have heard. Too bad!
- Nylund was good, not great; not as good as I thought she'd be, but definitely respectable. She had the requisite fragility and vulnerability, not much of the silvery float you hope for in Elsa.
- BJo hit the role out of the park, just a terrific performance. Okay, I'll cop to some crooning, or anyway a whole lot of head mixed into his usual tone, in that first entrance. But vocally it was extremely beautiful, with not a bit of shouting. He maintained a fine line throughout, high notes were easy, the middle and lower part beautiful. Impeccable, really, good enough that I'd consider a return trip.
- Except for a weirdly draggy first-act Prelude and a lack of urgency a couple of times further on (Elsa & Lohengrin's Act III duet, for instance), Luisotti was fine. I can't complain.
The orchestra played well; the brass was spectacular; the chorus absolutely heroic and gorgeous.
(Right. Lohengrin, San Francisco Opera, October 28, 2012.)