Skip to main content

Le Nozze di Figaro at the SF Opera!

Once again, this unforgettable opera written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart returns to the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House with a stunning cast almost identical to the one I remember from a few years ago. French-Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly as Figaro; American soprano Lisette Oropesa as Susanna; American soprano Nadine Sierra as Countess Almaviva; American mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey as Cherubino; Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni as Count Almaviva; American mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook as Marcellina; American tenor Greg Fedderly as Don Basilio; American soprano Maria Valdes as Barbarina; Former Adler Fellow and Merola alumnus Bojan Knežević as Antonio; and American soprano Virginia Pluth and mezzo-soprano Erin Neff as the two bridesmaids.

This spectacular performance, taking place last Sunday, on the 21st of June, was a wonderful entertainment on a gloomy Sunday afternoon. Conducted by Patrick Summers and directed by Robin Guarino, this production of Mozart's comedy is something not to miss.

Philippe Sly, previously appearing in San Francisco Opera's production of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte as Guglielmo and in San Francisco Opera's production of Partenope as Ormonte, triumphally continues to conquer the San Francisco Opera with his portrayal of Figaro. He was in good, solid vocal shape, and burned the stage with his acting skills.

Lisette Oropesa, the sweet-voiced Susanna we were all pleased to see and hear, stood side-by-side with Figaro in his confrontations with the Count Almaviva.

Cherubino usually receives the most laughs and cheering from the audience. Kate Lindsey was a great embodiment of Cherubino, with her facial expressions and small gestures, Kate Lindsey acted and sounded boyishly flirtatious. I enjoyed her cartwheel very much, once again again after her Zerlina:)

Nadine Sierrra, performing the role of the heart-broken Countess Almaviva, carried her role with dignity and soul. It's not her fault she sounded and looked younger than the Countess is presumed to be.

Luca Pisaroni, performing the role of Count Almaviva, portrayed the fickle Count as charming and authoritative. I enjoyed his Count much more than his Figaro, and both roles were performed very uniquely.

The set was very beautiful, and the costumes all fit well on the performers. Looking forward to the next opera in this year's season!


Popular posts from this blog

Opera gala time: Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra under Eduard Topchjan

The Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra, performing at the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall, under the baton and artistic direction of Maestro Eduard Topchjan, never ceases to impress its summer audiences with the exceptionally entertaining and high-quality performances given. Featuring baritone David Babayants, soprano Ani Yorentz, tenor Liparit Avetisyan, soprano Hasmik Torosyan, bass Vazgen Gazaryan, and baritone Gianpiero Ruggeri, the Opera Gala produced an unforgettable effect upon the audience.
The program included selections from Leoncavallo, Gounod, Tchaikovsky, Mascagni, Puccini, Verdi, Mozart, Rossini, and Donizetti.

The spectacular gala opened with Gianpiero Ruggeri’s stunning performanc of Si puo? Si puo? Signore! Signori!, Tonio’s prologue from Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Not only was the actual content of Tonio’s Prologue an ideal stage-warming number, it also manifested Ruggeri’s intriguing acting and smooth vocal production.

Next on the program was Ani Yorentz…

The Last Judgement: Verdi's Masterful Requiem and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel

On September 14, 2017, the Armenian National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet after A. Spendiarian performed Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem, but with a visual twist of murals from the Sistine Chapel, done by Michelangelo. The pictures were projected by "innovative technologies of the future" which allowed to create a "three-dimensional reproduction of the images of Michelangelo's masterpieces". Conducted by San Francisco-born conductor Konstantin Orbelyan Jr. (nephew of the famous Armenian conductor Konstantin Orbelyan), soloists soprano Marine Deinyan, guest mezzo-soprano from the USA Eleni Matos, bass Hayk Tigranyan, and tenor Sargis Aghamalyan performed Verdi's Requiem in this new realization of the stunning centerpiece of classical music. The visual effects were created by Italian stage and visual director Paolo Micciche. In Micciche's own words, "[t]he music of Verdi's Requiem has the same dramaturgy and rhythm as the great frescos by M…

Pianist Hrant Bagrazyan in Concert: In Memory of Professor Igor Yavryan

On July 19, accomplished classical pianist Hrant Bagrazyan gave a summer piano recital at the beautiful venue of the Komitas Museum-Institute, a "museum in Yerevan, Armenia, devoted to the renowned Armenian musicologist and composer Komitas", in memory of Professor Igor Yavryan, who passed away earlier this summer on June 16. Professor Yavryan was Bagrazyan's teacher and mentor.

"He helped me love and appreciate classical music and shaped me as a musician", wrote Bagrazyan. "Without him I wouldn't become a pianist."

The house was completely full, even with the necessity of adding several extra chairs to the rows in order to fit everyone who showed up for the performance. This is not surprising considering the high quality of the performance given.

The stunning program consisted of Komitas'  Six Dances, Johannes Brahms' Sonata No. 3 Op. 5 in f minor, Arno Babajanian's Six Pictures, and Maurice Ravel's Reflections. 

Komitas wrote th…