Re: The Tales of Hoffmann – San Francisco Style

Last night. Tales of Hoffmann.

First up, the production was pretty minimalist in set and I loved that, the focus was able to totally remain on the singers and the music- GO SF OPERA! 

Second, Matthew Polanzani was out of this world. To carry the entire show vocally with hardly a moment to breathe, much less leave the stage for a glass of water: he was superb. His tenor voice is so natural and free, it was a pleasure to listen to him for 3 hours. Other notable singers were Hye Jung Lee (Olympia), Angela Brower (Nicklausse) and the evil Christian van Horn, playing the devil in different incarnations in each act. Natalie Dessay did a good job of staying on her voice throughout the 3rd act and delivered a captivating Antonia (go her!), but I am happy for her vocal health to hear she’s taking a break. She has been going nonstop for years and pushing the envelope on numerous occasions with her role selections, so this time off comes at what seems to be an appropriate time. 

My only complaint is the choice to include every aria ever associated with this opera in SF’s production of it, because it made for quite a long night of music, but nonetheless an incredibly enjoyable one. (And of course after a lovely dinner at Uva Enoteca with my mom, it made for a truly wonderful night in the city.)


Next up to see is The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, a controversial new work that still has 4 performances left if anyone is interested in seeing it. I believe I’ll be catching the next-to-last performance of it. 

Opera, love it? Hate it? Don’t get it? Talk to me, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Happiness Starts Here

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