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Subject: Thoughts on SFO 2006/7 season announcement
From: Chris Mullins <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Chris Mullins <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 12 Jan 2006 14:34:05 -0500
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If interested Opera-L'ers go to sfopera.com, they will see the "new" SFO
website and the "sophisticated, glamorous" logo.

It just makes me chuckle to think of all the bile-laden verbiage poured
forth about the "slash" logo and then to look at this somewhat tacky, 60's
retro chrysanthemum/starburst. I suppose the companies that Gockley thanks
for their work on the logo and the new website did so either gratis or at a
substantial discount - with Rosenberg having worked so hard to bring costs
down in the last couple years, certainly more expenditure in that area
wasn't a pressing need? No matter how offensive the "slash" was to
the "sophisticated, glamorous" tastes of certain thrifty-minded individuals?

Gockley proposes four key words for what the SFO will be under him (here in
order): glamour, sophistication, tradition, and innovation.

Please note where "innovation" falls.

The big news about this season is the addition of a tenth production
(Rosenberg had brought the seasons down to 9 after the financial crisis
became brutally clear during her first season).

So after seasons that featured operas by Messiaen, Ligeti, Busoni, Janacek,
Thompson, a world-premiere from Adams, on and on....

We get two classic Verdi operas, Carmen, Rosenkavalier, Don Giovanni,
Tristan und Isolde, Feldermaus, Barber, Manon Lescaut, and finally, an
interesting rarity, Gluck's "Iphegenie en Tauride."

Rosenberg's "Animating Opera" notes had indicated Tan Dun's TEA for this
season; I suppose that has gone where the "Troyens" went.

Four productions will be "new" to SFO - no production, in other words,
premieres here. The "Manon Lescaut" opened in Chicago last year.
The "Tristan" comes from Seattle. I can't see on the "Ballo" page any
information on where that production originates. Finally, I am happy to see
that the "Don G" will ne new to SFO; it is a co-production with Theatre
Royal de Monnaie. I had thought the Gluck was a new production but the
website simply calls it a SFO production, shared with Chicago.

I look forward to much of the season. I'm most excited by the "Manon
Lescaut," as Mattila, who sang Janacek's Katya for Rosenberg, returns, and
I have never seen the opera live. I'll also attend my first "Ballo," with
Voigt, who sang Ariadne under Rosenberg. Nathan Gunn will reprise his light
but virile barber in Rosenberg's amazing revolving house production. Marcus
Kwiecien sings Mozart's Don, I hope to even greater effect than he did in
Santa Fe two years ago; he sang Marcello for Rosenberg. Brewer sings
Isolde; she was Beethoven's Leonora last year. Under Rosenberg.

Glockley promises even more stars in future seasons; some already sang
under Rosenberg, such as Juan Diego Florez and Renee Fleming (yes, a gala).
Heppner had been scheduled by Rosenberg for Otello but canceled during his
crisis. I suppose San Francisco will go as nuts for Alagna and Gheorghiu as
Los Angeles opera fans do. They are, after all, sophisticated and glamorous.

I can't say I am thrilled by the Carmen (I saw Domashenko in SF in
Mansouri's last year, as I recall). And after seeing Brendel in the
televised WNO "Fledermaus," all I can hope is that he is in better voice
and the rest of the cast exemplary.

Next year, 2007-8, Gockley will have his chance to really show what he
wants SFO to be.

I hope to be very excited by that season.

This one - is this one.

But oh, that glamorous, sophisticated new logo!

C Mullins (also enjoying the heartfelt reminiscences of the great Birgit
Nilsson)

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