Tuesday, September 10, 2013

SF Opera in the Park 2013

San Francisco Opera's free annual concert on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park was on the cusp of the fog belt all afternoon, but for most of the concert it was sunny and gorgeous.

Half the fun of the event is people watching, with the lady above winning most colorful outfit by a mile.

The woman above left was hosting a picnic at the front of the stage and confessed that she had arrived at the park at 9:30 AM for the 1:30 concert. "Where did you get your hat?" she asked me about my straw cowboy chapeau, and I told her, "The Rite Aid drugstore in Palm Springs." She countered with, "Mine is from Saks Fifth Avenue," to which one could only reply, "Of course it is."

Fellow supernumerary Kimberly Thompson was running around in an angel costume promoting the opera company and its season, stopping at one point to pose with a boa constrictor that happened to be hanging out on a pathway.

The pair of young lovers above seemed to have tuned out the entire world except for each other.

It was impossible to know what anybody was singing from the stage ahead of time unless you broke down and bought a San Francisco Chronicle Sunday newspaper for $2.00 from what we were calling The Extortion Booth above. Surprisingly few people did so, which meant we all relied on emcee David Gockley, SF Opera's General Director, for onstage announcements of who was singing what. It might be a good idea in the future for the opera company to print out programs for the audience themselves. A well-designed handout would help in marketing the season to newcomers, and those of us who have vowed never to buy the crappy Hearst Corporation Chronicle again in our lives would not be tempted into renouncing our vows.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was Susannah Biller above (with Gockley to the left) singing a high-flying aria from the Viennese operetta Die Fledermaus. She looked impossibly glamorous in her concert dress and almost made me forget how much I dislike Viennese operetta.

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