Thursday, October 02, 2008

My Ecclesiastical Season

Korngold's 1920 opera, "Die Tote Stadt" is midway through its run at the San Francisco Opera and it's improving as the performances continue (click here to check out the three dates remaining).
I watched the first hour of the opera from the top balcony in Standing Room during the third performance on Wednesday evening before throwing on a scary bishop's outfit for Act Two.

The production was designed for Vienna and Salzburg rather than the San Francisco Opera House, and most of the balcony can't see half of what's going on during the surrealistic final two-thirds of the opera because of the stage sight lines. Thankfully, they finally turned on the HD OperaVision screens in the balcony, and you could not only see everything in closeup, but you could hear every instrument in the huge orchestra
with bell-like clarity under Donald Runnicles. They were playing out of their minds, beautifully. If you don't believe me, check out Janos Gereben's (click here) and The Opera Tattler's (click here) accounts of the second performance.

For some reason, during this fall season, I'm playing a supernumerary Roman Catholic Bishop, a Russian Religious Pilgrim, a Russian Orthodox Priest, and a Russian Monk. By the end of the fall, I should be either totally anti-clerical or considering holy orders. (Thanks to the superb photographer Mike Harvey and to the SF Opera Production Department for the photos above, none of which are of yours truly.)


AlbGlinka said...

Your blog is now interesting one. I have blog too, visit it for good news:

but seriously: I'm going next Thursday and can't wait, the photos are fantastic.

sfmike said...

Dear albglinka: Thank you for for your good news and shamelessmarketingadspam. I'll see you Thursday.

Matty Boy said...

I was also up in the nosebleed standing room on Wednesday, and the sound is fantastic and the opera is watchable due to the OperaVision big DVD screens. The action is deep into the stage, so without the screens almost all the dream sequence stuff, which is a LOT of the opera, would be lost to those of us in the upper balcony, as the proscenium blocks the view.

Definitely worth seeing and hearing. Thanks, mike, for inviting me to this one.

Ed The Sports Fan said...

Yeah, you're new name might be Moses when its all said and done. Cool site! I'll have to check you out when i'm in the Bay.


SIRENE said...


Isle Dance said...


zoo said...

great costumes , a bit like the work of this gent,
where are your pics as a church member?
you didn't reply to me, was that your new kitty kat?

sfmike said...

Dear Pedro: We're playing foster parents to Nigel, the old orange tabby, until Miss Cindy gets her own apartment again. It started off as a two-month thing and now it's about a ten-month thing and the longer it goes on, the more I'm thinking I may give Cindy a copy of Barbara Stanwyk's "Stella Dallas" where Stella gives up her daughter so she can live in wealth, happiness and beauty.

Strassiline said...

I´m impressed