14. September 2011 · Comments Off on Yet Another Review · Categories: Opera, Reviews

Which includes this:

I have been to most of Opera San Jose’s productions of the past couple of years, and the orchestra has never sounded better. Augmented in number and sounding crisp and swift under George Cleve’s efficient direction, the sound was full but never overbearing. It was a little strange to hear Mozart with a bigger orchestra than previous productions of Puccini and Verdi. There’s no turning back to smaller orchestras now! How puny would Verdi’s La Traviata (later this season) sound with only 3 or 4 strings per section after hearing 6-7 per section in Mozart? These orchestral reinforcements, along with the high-quality set design were only possible through the generosity the Packard Humanities Institute. I wholeheartedly join the San Jose Mercury and San Francisco Classical Voice’s praise for this production. Bravo to all, and good luck on the 2011-2012 season!


In truth our string numbers in all our other operas are 6 first violins, 6 second violins, 4 violas, 3 cellos and 2 basses, per our contract, but yes, there are 4 more firsts, 4 more seconds, 2 more violas and 1 more cello if I’ve counted correctly. I love the increased numbers, but it’s doubtful they’ll keep the orchestra that large due to the cost. I’m not sure how we’d fit all the strings in the pit when we add harp and more brass, either. (I can’t imagine that Mr. Packard would be footing the bill for every opera. That would be asking a bit much, don’t you think?)

But how grateful I am that Mr. Packard put this opera on. It’s great music. The production is outstanding, and it’s well worth attending … more than once! (And don’t tell me you can’t come to at least two; I’m going to eleven. Just a bit of patty humor there.) Reviews have been incredibly positive. Photos of the stage have blown me away. Thanks, Mr. Packard!

And thanks, Mr. Shomler for more fantastic photos!

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