Sunday, June 16, 2024

Partenope, San Francisco Opera


Handel's "Partenope" with Julie Fuchs as Partenope, Hadleigh Adams as Ormonte, Daniela Mack as Rosmira (disguised as Eurimene), Nicholas Tamagna as Armindo, and Carlo Vistoli as Arsace.

Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

I liked this revival much better than I remember liking the 2014 bring-up, but couldn't remember why other than "what's the deal with the bathroom jokes?" Maybe I have reverse-aged, because they just blended in with the rest of the production this time? But I also had vague memories of not much liking the previous singer in the title role, Danielle de Niese. She's a very beautiful woman but can't hold a candle to Julie Fuchs as a singer.

I'll note that the program essays have no photos or mention of the countertenor who sang Arsace in 2014, presumably for the good reason that he's now a convicted rapist. Harassment allegations have also been made against the conductor of that production.

  • Joshua Kosman, Chronicle. I hadn't read this review since it came out, and I'm amused to see a few similarities between it and my review anyway. The review also confirms my memory that de Niese wasn't quite up to the title role.
  • Robert Commanday, SFCV.


Chanterelle said...

You note the originally cast countertenor who has since been convicted of disgusting acts. But I gasped to note the name of the original conductor, who has since been drummed out of my fair city after multiple credible accusations of sexual harassment. Why does talent go to (some) men's heads?

Lisa Hirsch said...

I wish I knew.