Friday, October 07, 2011

Carrying a Torch for Renee Fleming

I am currently one of a half dozen supernumeraries who carry phony torches during Act One of the Donizetti opera, "Lucrezia Borgia," which is being remounted at the San Francisco Opera as a diva vehicle for Renee Fleming above. Renee recently announced via Twitter that this is her last bel canto opera performance, so if you're interested, there are two shows remaining this Saturday and next Tuesday.

Though the opera libretto and the production are completely ridiculous, there are a number of wonderful singers who are getting better with each performance, including Ms. Fleming, who seems as gracious and unpretentious backstage as she was twenty years ago.

Friends who have seen the opera, with outrageous costumes by the director John Pascoe, have mostly enjoyed themselves, though not necessarily for the right reasons. For a wonderful take on the pleasant absurdity of the production, click here for Patrick Vaz's description at "Reverberate Hills." Patrick usually is very serious about his cultural intake and doesn't have much patience for camp, but he found this particular performance thoroughly amusing.

Thanks to Mike Harvey for the backstage photos above.


Patrick J. Vaz said...

I had no idea I radiated such aesthetic severity. I feel like quite the Modernist!

I think it's more that I don't want to pay Orchestra Premium prices for camp.

Thanks as always for the linkage, and for the torch-bearing.

sfmike said...

Dear Patrick: But you ARE quite the Modernist, you are!

As for torch-bearing, I only wish I radiated more light so people could see more of the courtiers and their fab costumes onstage.

janinsanfran said...

My partner saw your production and described it as over the top and delightful. She was particularly taken with the diminutive mezzo soprano.

What fun!