Friday, June 22
Editor’s note: Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle is one of my favorite Bartok works, and I would have loved to have heard this semi-staged version of it with Michael Tilson Thomas leading the San Francisco Symphony and with the fabulous mezzo Michelle DeYoung as Judith, Bluebeard’s terrified bride to be. Semi-staged operas at “the symphony” have become quite the rage with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, even making headline news in the Los Angeles Times. Some see a rivalry forming with the Los Angeles Opera. In fact, the Philharmonic presentations last season (2011-2012) were in many ways more daring and adventurous than anything going on in the official LAO home, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The action, so to speak, is cropping up exactly next door at Disney Hall — not to mention elsewhere in LA with, for example, the Long Beach Opera, the Industry, and Jacaranda in Santa Monica.
This exciting SFO concert (or so I hope it was!) included the incredible Jeremy Denk playing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1.
I was going to have this reviewed by proxy, but it did not work out.
I don’t imagine there is any real rivalry between the SFO and the SFS, but Louis M. Davies Symphony Hall is, in fact, directly opposite San Francisco Opera’s War Memorial Opera House on Grove Street at Van Ness.
Michael Tilson Thomas: ponductor
Jeremy Denk: piano
Michelle DeYoung: mezzo-soprano
Alan Held: bass-baritone
Ken Ruta: speaker
Nick Hillel: director
Nick Corrigan: co-director, video & visual design
Jose Maria Condemi: staging
Richard Slaney: producer
David Holmes: lighting design
Adam Wiltshire: set design
San Francisco Symphony