Monday, November 29, 2010

Elina Makropulos Finally Dies

Sunday's final matinee performance of Janacek's "The Makropulos Case" at the San Francisco Opera enticed cool operaphiles from near and far, including Washington D.C. blogger Alex Wellsung (above) and Sidney Chen (below).

Sidney hadn't been to the opera in some time, but after combing his bicycle helmet hair and changing his ensemble, he managed once again to be plucked from the orchestra standing room rail at the beginning of the performance by a charitable patron who had an empty seat. In a box.

I happily stood in the top balcony where the OperaVision live video was good enough that they could just release the results as is, and the orchestra, including brass player Zach Spellman above, sounded sensational up there.

Matthew O'Neill, a young tenor who played an old "geezer" in love, had bleached his hair and goatee for the part and could hardly wait to shave it off at the end of the last performance. O'Neill gave a wonderful comic performance, the best I have ever seen from him.

The first-year Adler fellow Brian Jagde, who has just transitioned from baritone to tenor, has a voice that easily and pleasingly filled the top of the opera house...

...and Miro Dvorsky (above right) gave his best performance on Sunday out of the three that I heard.

Karita Mattila stopped for a small group of autograph hounds at the stage door before being whisked away in a town car filled with VIPs. After these astonishing debut performances as Elina Makropulos, she is now and forevermore a San Francisco Opera legend.

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