Friday, January 14, 2005
SF Opera's 2005-2006 Season
It's been announced, and there's going to be some interesting stuff.
First of all, the premiere of John Adams's "Doctor Atomic," about J. Robert Oppenheimer. I am generally not a huge fan of modern music, or even really of Adams, but I think I like his operas better than any of his other stuff. I really like "Nixon in China" and "The Death of Klinghoffer" and Oppenheimer was a pretty interesting guy (and a scientist!), so I think there's a pretty excellent chance that I'll like this.
Also, "Rodelinda," the Handel opera I just saw at the Met, is going to be coming here with the same countertenor, David Daniels, who stole the show there. In case you don't know what a countertenor is (I didn't until recently) it is: "a man who uses either falsetto or, rarely, a naturally light and heady tenor voice to sing in the alto range." These men were traditionally castrati, although these days, now that human castration has gone out of favor, countertenor roles are usually filled by women dressed as men. David Daniels is neither a castrato nor a woman, so I'm not really sure how he does it, but he's pretty amazing. The female lead in the SF "Rodelinda" will be sung by local soprano Catherine Naglestad, who was excellent in another Handel opera performed here three years ago, "Alcina."
The other one I'm really psyched about is Ruth Ann Swenson in "The Marriage of Figaro." I love me some Mozart opera--it's a nice antidote to all the Italian stuff (I know that it's in Italian, but it's not fundamentally Italian. Or in other words, it's not Verdi).