Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday (24 January) night saw the commencement of the 2009 opera season in San Diego with the premier of Giacomo Puccini's Tosca at the Civic Theater. The theater was nearly filled to capacity, which was a good news. The bad news is that the pressing economy has forced the San Diego Opera to cut down the number of operas scheduled for the 2010 season from 5 to 4 (don't know which opera got axed yet). So... if we opera-loving San Diegans want to keep a good opera company in town, we've better keep showing up to fill the auditorium for the rest of this season.
If that sounds like a chore, you should be relieved to know that bad economy has no untoward effect on the level of performance being given. The performance of Tosca last night was so well oiled it was hard to believe that it was the first show of the season. Sylvie Valayre was an interesting Tosca who made up for a rather strange voice with her dramatic intensity, Marcus Haddock was a charmingly dashing Cavaradossi, and Greer Grimsley was as domineering yet fetchingly sly Scarpia with a voice that could easily outsing an overly loud orchestra without breaking a sweat. It was, all in all, a very good show that was as pleasant on the eyes as it was on the ears. If you love the beautiful moody music from the late Romantic period and a good psychodrama, Tosca at the San Diego Opera is the show for you!
Check out the rest of the season and be sure to show your support to our local opera company. These good folks've earned it! (besides, if you show up 90 minutes before a performance and it hasn't sold out, there are rush tickets to be had for only $20 a piece!)
The rest of the 2009 Season at the San Diego Opera looks like this:
Jan 27, 30, Feb 1, 4: Puccini's TOSCA (Mueller/ Valayre, Haddock, Grimsley)
Feb 14, 17, 20, 22: Massenet's DON QUICHOTTE (Keltner/ Furlanetto, Dorn, Graves)
Mar 28, 31, Apr 3, 5: Verdi's RIGOLETTO (Mueller/ Vargicova, Aronica, Ataneli, Chavez)
Apr 18, 21, 24, 26: Britten's PETER GRIMES (Bedford/ Griffey, Casey Cabot, Gilfry)
May 9, 12, 15, 17, 20: Puccini's MADAMA BUTTERFLY (Mueller/ Racette, Ventre, MacKenzie, Cao
*Photo by Ken Howard is Greer Grimsley (Scarpia) and Sylvie Valayre (Tosca). Courtesy of San Diego Opera.