Troyens

Troyens

Monday, October 06, 2014

Un Ballo in Maschera at SF Opera, Media Roundup & Commentary

Not your usual list of reviewers, as you'll see:
Yes, you are reading that right: my review is in the Chron. And the first thing I have to do is apologize, because 90 minutes after I filed, I realized I'd forgotten to remark on the performances by singers in smaller roles, and by then it was too late for a change. Those singers would be Christian Van Horn and Scott Conner as the conspirators; they sang very well, and I wish Jose Maria Condemi's direction had given them more distinct physical presences. Efrain Solis, a current Adler Fellow, had a lot of personality - and voice - as Christian, a beneficiary of Gustavus's generosity during the fortune-telling scene. A.J. Gluekert was fine as the Chief Magistrate, but is this character traditionally a buffoon out of G&S? I would have thought him a serious foil to Oscar.

Other remarks: 
  • The press materials and program say that Christian Van Horn is singing Count Horn, the web site says he's singing Count Ribbing, and I don't know which is correct, but you can tell from reading the reviews who believed which source.
  • To hear an Italian Verdi baritone as Renato/Anckarstrom. try Gino Bechi on the 1943 Serafin/Gigli, Caniglia, Bechi, Barbieri set. For that matter, Gigli is a stunning beautiful and convincing Riccardo.
  • That scene at the gallows? Somebody please throw a black or brown cloak over Julianna Di Giacomo, please: it is within the realm of the possible that the man she's married to will recognize that pretty blue outfit.
  • Heidi Stober makes such an adorable leggy teenaged boy that it is obviously time to revive the practice of casting sopranos as Cherubino and Octavian.
  • My appearance in the Chronicle will be a rarity or even one-time event; this review happened because the usual reviewers, three of them, were unavailable.

4 comments:

John Marcher said...

Rarity or not, still nice to see (and read).

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thank you!

CK Dexter Haven said...

I somehow missed this earlier in the week. Congrats!

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thanks!