Following is the review on the performance of The Tales of Hoffmann on Tuesday, June 11, 2013. San Fransisco War Memorial Opera House.
7:58 p.m. "I'm with you at the War Memorial Opera House of San Fransisco with The Tales of Hoffmann. Since I came a little bit late I won't be able to describe a lot of things. The lights dim and the performance begins with Gockley's voice asking everyone to turn off their cellphones..."
9:15 p.m. "Intermission of Act 1. People jump from their seats and a huge traffic jam appears in one of the aisles. This is such a comic opera! The libretto itself is extremely funny. The music, of course, is very unlike Offenbach's usual Belle Helen or Orpheus in the Underworld. This opera has an opera feel to it, not operetta. The costumes are also nice; not colorful, but nice. They're all so dark. Grey, brown, black...Olympia is like a light shining from the dark. 9:35 p.m. The orchestra begins tuning. Mr. Polenzani is doing a wonderful job at interpreting the character. So far, he's my favorite. I noticed one little blooper during the tale of Olympia when the chorus delayed for a few second, but Mr. Fournillier evened it all out immediately and everything was fine. The lights dim..."
10:30 p.m. "I have never understood what this singing disease was. Never. No, seriously, what the heck is it? Dr. Miracle seems to have the cure for it, so he knows about it...
'...I don't think Dessay is in a great voice, either. I've heard her perform much better than this before...'
Overall, I was entertained and was in a happy mood after the performance. It was not an ingenious performance, but it was not horrible either.