Sunday, October 2, 2011

Turandot at the San Fransisco Opera

Tonight I saw Turandot at the San Francisco Opera. I got $30 tickets through work, and, as I don't really know any opera lovers out here (yet), I went by myself.

I have to say, going to the opera alone really does take a fair amount of the fun out of the experience. (An opera just isn't an opera without Meridita) But I did my best. I got there early and enjoyed a plate of prawns and lentils in the house's downstairs restaurant, with a glass of wine, of course.

This was my second Turandot, and although I appreciated the story much more the second time around, I think I prefer the Met's production. The set tonight was designed by David Hockney and it had bold, flat colors -- fire engine red against black or Mattise-blue. It just had a cut out cartoony feeling to me, at least compared to the Met's lavish set. Also, at the Met I've almost always had orchestra seats, and these were grand tier and were farther away. It was actually a little difficult to hear the singers at some point.

Calif (Marco Berti) sang well but I wasn't drawn by his performance and he really does need to carry the whole opera. Although the Nessum Dorma totally sucked me in. It's just such stirring music; you can feel the whole audience holding its breath. As in the Met production, I preferred the singing and the role of Liu (Leah Crocetto) to Turandot (Irene Theorin). All in all, I enjoyed Puccini's lush and romantic music, and am glad I went.