Monday, December 07, 2020

San Francisco Opera 100: A Different Angle


War Memorial Opera House Interior
December, 2019
Photo by Lisa Hirsch


Another way to think about the centennial season is: who would conduct? Several conductors must be in the pit for something:
  • Music Director Eun Sun Kim
  • Former Music Director Nicola Luisotti, who would get the Verdi (or Puccini, if, say, there's a revival of Il Trittico)
  • Former Music Director Sir Donald Runnicles, who would get Something Big and probably German
  • Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers
That leaves a few open spots. Herewith some nudges possibilities.
  • Presumably coming in for Innocence but would be great to have on the roster in general: Susanna M√§lkki; might be busy if she succeeds Philippe Jordan in Paris
  • Lives locally, proven excellence in conducting opera, might have some free time these days: Michael Tilson Thomas
  • Lives locally, proven excellence in conducting opera, might be too busy: Nicole Paiement
  • Lives locally (or will by then), proven excellence in conducting opera, will be working nearby: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Eminence grise: Sir Andrew Davis
  • Eminence grise with some SFO history: Christoph von Dohnanyi, a great conductor, but now 91 and has cancelled some US appearances
  • Lives a short flight away, proven excellence in conducting opera, who knows whether his organization will survive the pandemic: James Conlon
  • Proven excellence in conducting opera, hasn't been to SF for anything (I think): Franz Welser-Most
  • Has some history with SFO, proven excellence in conducting opera, but probably too hot to handle politically: Christian Thielemann
  • Could be on stage or in the pit: Nathalie Stutzmann
  • Could be on stage or in the pit: Barbara Hannigan (reminding me that it's a long time since SFO performed either of Alban Berg's operas, and also that I would love to see Berenice again)

 

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