Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Getting Stabbed at Norma



Our fourth performance of Bellini's "Norma" at the San Francisco Opera went well this evening except for Robert O'Connor getting stabbed with a long, sharp stick by a fellow supernumerary, a French space case who doesn't work well with others.



Philippe seems to have his own drummer, which can be dangerous on a dark stage with people running around carrying weapons. That's him on the right hanging onto the ugly "scorched forest" set. I'm the one looking mean on the left and our dead Roman compatriot is bleeding in the middle.



For the record, the two divas singing Norma and Adalgisa, Catherine Naglestad and Irina Mishura respectively, are getting better as the run of nine performances goes on. Right before each show starts, in the hallway off of stage right, you can walk by Norma's dressing room and the two are warming up together with their duets. It sounds too sweet for words, and their duets really are the heart of the opera.

If you're thinking of going, wait until Sara Jobin arrives with the sixth performance. The present conductor, though he looks typecast for the role of handsome Italian conductor, is still taking the music too sluggishly. It will be good to have some youthful energy in the pit.

5 comments:

M. C- said...

The present conductor...is still taking the music too sluggishly.

No kidding. Hooooooollllllly slllllllooooooowwwwwnnnnnness tonight, Batman.

But you guys looked, mmm, well-ventilated.

sfmike said...

Dear m.c-

Are you referring to our "Showgirls" thongs? I keep waiting for Gina Gershon to ascend out of a spitting volcano so we can really run around and show our stuff.

Glad you experienced the painfully slllooooooooowwwww conducting because it needed to be heard to be believed. How were the rest of the musicians on Saturday night? I know that the tenor finally stopped oversinging and was sounding really good for the first time in performance. The others I can't even begin to judge.

I also loved the curtain getting stuck at the end which required a quick turnaround by Norma and Pollione, "Hey, we didn't really burn in the bonfire, we're just singers! Hurrah!"

rysanekfreak said...

I see that the rumor mill hints that next season at War Memorial will include

CARMEN
RIGOLETTO
TRISTAN & ISOLDE
MANON LESCAUT
BALLO IN MASCHERA
BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA
FLEDERMAUS

That's not very daring. It's very safe...lots of bread and butter, no jam or caviar.

I long for the good old days when a San Francisco season would have 11 or 12 operas...one of which would be a rarity.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I saw one of Jobin's performances and, you know, I could conduct it with more vigor. See http://irontongue.blogspot.com/2005/11/dear-sara.html
for details.

Anonymous said...

ASDF is coming soon! Don't be left behind!