Friday, November 30, 2007
Return of the Ninja Geishas
The San Francisco Opera's fall season is ending with a reprise of five performances of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly," featuring yours truly as a Kabuki "kugoro" scene-shifter.
Because the performances are not part of any of the subscription series, there are still plenty of tickets available, and I can't recommend the production highly enough. Patricia Racette, who sang the role here last year, is probably the best Butterfly in the world right now, both vocally and histrionically. She just sang a couple of performances at the Metropolitan in New York in their new production, and all the opera queens on the internet went slightly bonkers.
The San Francisco production of "Butterfly" last year featured a tenor and bass-baritone as Pinkerton and Sharpless respectively who were definitely sub-par, but that's not the case this time around. Stephen Powell is sounding wonderful in rehearsal as the American consul, and a pair of young American tenors are sharing the role of Pinkerton.
Not only is Brandon Jovanovich (in the two photos above) ridiculously handsome, he also possesses an outrageously beautiful voice.
He's pictured above with the legendary, recently deceased opera director Colin Graham, who ran the Opera Theatre of St. Louis for decades, and who directed the premieres of many of the seminal Benjamin Britten operas before that. In fact, I have a repertory request for San Francisco Opera's David Gockley. Please, oh please, present the San Francisco premiere of Britten's masterful opera "Gloriana" about Queen Elizabeth, and bring back Jovanovich to sing Essex which he played in St. Louis.
Sharing handsome Ugly American duties with the alternate Butterfly, Marie Plette (12/6 and 12/8), is James Valenti who also has looks and vocal beauty to spare. Click here to see about tickets.