Saturday, September 25, 2010

Aida at the Ballpark



On a warm San Francisco Friday night at the Giants ballpark...



...the San Francisco Opera offered a free simulcast performance of their current production of Verdi's "Aida"...



...on the ballpark's super-wide Jumbotron screen...



...for a huge crowd that looked to be in the 50,000 person range.



You could order drinks and junk food at the concession stands that featured video feeds of singers rather than athletes...



...and sit either in the stands or on the baseball field itself.



We only stayed for an hour to soak up the ambience because I'd already seen the silly production in the opera house on opening night.



Brian at Out West Arts compared the production, in its artistic aspirations, to the movie "Ernest Goes to Camp," which was more than a trifle unkind but not necessarily incorrect.



On this particular Friday evening, though, it didn't matter because a warm San Francisco night is unusual enough that the weather felt like a blessing.



Just watching the moon and the lights on the water around the ballpark with Verdi as a soundtrack was sublime.



Even the gaily decorated palm trees in front of the stadium looked like they were part of the production.

7 comments:

namastenancy said...

How were the singers? I was listening to Leontyne Price sing Aida and wondered if there had ever been an Aida to rival her - in her glory days. BTW, the photo second from the bottom reminds me of Van Gogh's Starry Night which I just saw at the De Young. In fact, your last two photos are glorious!

sfmike said...

Dear Nancy: With the exception of Dolora Zajick as Amneris (second photo), the singing wasn't anything special. And Leontyne Price was an unparalleled Verdi singer in a number of roles, including Aida.

Rachel said...

We had some people in our section who kept trying to get everyone to shut up. It was funny.
We had a good time, but getting home afterward was less than fun.
Good night for it though, didn't you think?

sfmike said...

Dear Rachel: It was a very good night for it. Once I saw how huge the crowd was, it was easy to surmise that Muni going home was going to be a disaster, which was one reason we left at intermission.

Matty Boy said...

Wow, that's a hell of a crowd. It's genius to get people in for free and soak them for food and drink. If I can say anything positive about the overpriced ball park food, I loves me a ChaCha Bowl from the Caribbean place out in the left field bleachers. Good and good for you!

AphotoAday said...

Really cool shot of the illuminated palms!

Mantium said...

Michael Dear, Chris and I were there as well, and, as you say, it was all about the astonishing anachronistic ambience: opera and garlic fries! We stuck it out 'til after act III (I forgot to bring a cushion for my flat ass),
and took a leisurely stroll back to the car, avoiding the great mostly-washed monkeymass. This version left me mostly amused, except for the fantastic costumes and sets; the chest-size egyptian eye emblazoned in gold upon the warriors armor was pure and simple creative genius. Best, Billy