It was opera night at the symphony last evening. The program booklet warned me to “Prepare to be swept away.” I did what I could.
In today’s Orange County Register online, I review the Pacific Symphony’s semi-staged performance of “Tosca.”
Click here to read my review, or pick up a copy of tomorrow’s newspaper.
“The coordination with the singers was a little loose; it wasn’t always clear who was following whom.” What do you mean by that? When listeners can’t tell who is following whom, isn’t that the very definition of a perfect ensemble?
During the Renee Fleming + Susan Graham duo recital at the WDCH last month, most of the time it was impossible to tell who was following whom – they were singing and feeling and breathing TOGETHER – which was one of the best things about the concert.
Well, I meant the coordination between orchestra and the singers wasn’t always spot on, and I couldn’t tell if it was the conductor’s problem or the singers’. St.Clair was behind the singers most of the time, but there were monitors out in the hall, on which the singers could see him conduct.
A similar set-up (conductor and orchestra behind the singers, with monitors out in the hall) was used by Dudamel & LA Phil for last year’s Don Giovanni, and there were occasional coordination issues with that performance too. Seems to be the nature of the beast if one uses that set-up.
In other words, you could not tell who was SUPPOSED TO BE BUT NOT SUCCEEDING IN following whom. Thanks for the clarification. Such set-ups requiring multiple monitors definitely have built-in synchronization difficulties and it is natural that listeners who did not attend the rehearsals may have trouble “apportioning the blame” correctly at the concert. However, if the conductor was behind not one or two but several singers “most of the time”, then my suspicion is that most of the fault must have been his.
A review from the balcony: Saw this last night. Jagde was very good and he reached the balcony very well. Everyone else seemed a little weak in comparison.
Our seats were in row A of the lower balcony, and they sucked. The the thick railing cut right through the stage obscuring most of the orchestra and action. To see the action, you had to spend the entire night leaned forward. The placement of the English titles was inconvenient to say the least, being up in the ceiling.
Segerstrom Hall is just weird.
But it was well done and an enjoyable night out. And yes, we stayed to boo the villain, and what a villain he was.
Well, of course, Segerstrom CONCERT Hall wasn’t designed for opera. Not weird, if you use it for what it’s meant for — symphonic concerts.
Tim, the sight lines would have been worse for a symphonic concert. That railing is in a bad place for row A.
The acoustics are very nice at Segerstrom, that’s for sure.