THE ELIXIR OF LOVE – It’s Happy Hour At San Francisco Opera

Special Family Performances on November 8th and 15th

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

For opera fans seeking an occasional fix of the comic variety, San Francisco Opera’s current production of L’ELISIR D’AMORE is just the tonic. Starring tenor RAMÓN VARGAS as “Nemorino”, an ice-cream vendor at a Napa Valley county fair in 1915, the opera scoops up two hours and 40 minutes of sweet and delightful escape from just about everything. Mr. Vargas is totally charming as the frustrated lover and trusting believer in magical potions, his clear lyric tenor voice easily caressing one of the most popular roles in the Donizetti repertoire. He is nimble and clever, completely at home in the role, and always on top of deftly-timed stage business created by director James Robinson. His rendition of “Una furtiva lagrima” was gentle and perfect, pointing to a future of operatic greatness. On the receiving end of his charms and toying with his affections, soprano Inva Mula makes smart choices – maintaining a consistently lovely line, occasionally demonstrating her excellent pianissimo entrances and glides to forte. Together in the duet, “Quanto e bella”, Vargas and Mula prove themselves a satisfying harmonic team.

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RAMÓN VARGAS (Nemorino) and INVA MULA (Adina).
Photos, Terrence McCarthy

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SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN SAYS STOP THE BLANK CHECK

GIORGIO CAODURO is the studliest Italian baritone this side of Yountville. Mr. Caoduro – as the military boss, “Seargeant Belcore”, who just happens to be recruiting in the vineyards – is himself an elixir d’amore. He is composer Gaetano Donizetti’s idea of a baritone – the same strong, virile and vibrant sound he wants for “Enrico” in Lucia di Lammermoor – a role Mr. Caoduro has performed in Bologna. Giorgio will soon be making his debut at Royal Opera, Covent Garden, then on to Athens to sing “Riccardo” (I Puritani); “Count Almaviva” (Le Nozze di Figaro) and “Rodrigo” (Don Carlo) at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna; and “Figaro” (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse. In his First Act cavatina, “Come Paride vezzoso”, the comely sergeant explains his self-acceptance as the kind of soldier-type-guy women go mad for. Indubitably. Check out Giorgio Caoduro as “Taddeo” in the recent DVD release of Rossini’s L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI.

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GIORGIO CAODURO, Baritone (as Belcore)
and GAETANO DONIZETTI, Composer

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Italian bass-baritone ALESSANDRO CORBELLI – as the traveling snake-oil salesman, “Dulcamara” – simply walks away with the show. Several times. As a recognized aficionado in the ROSSINI repertoire, Mr. Corbelli makes his San Francisco Opera debut in the role that won him much acclaim in Leipzig and at the Metropolitan Opera. His superb comic timing matches his amazing vocal agility as heard in the Act II aria, “Unite, udite, o rustici” (Give ear, now, ye rustic ones). Signor Corbelli’s discography includes LE NOZZE DI FIGARO COSÌ FAN TUTTE and for TELARC led by Charles Mackerras. In the coming season he will be seen as “Falstaff” at La Scala.

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ALESSANDRO CORBELLI – As Dulcamara.
Photo, Terrence McCarthy

Click on the dates below to purchase tickets on-line:
SUNDAY, November 9th, 2:00 pm
FRIDAY, November 14th, 8:00 pm
TUESDAY, November 18th, 8:00 pm
SUNDAY, November 23rd, 2:00 pm
WEDNESDAY, November 26th, 7:30 pm

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[Insert photo: JI YOUNG YANG (left, as Giannetta)
and ALESSANDRO CORBELLI.
Photo, Terrence McCarthy]

On Saturday, November 8th and Saturday, November 15th at 12:30 p.m. San Francisco Opera presents THE ELIXIR OF LOVE for Families at the War Memorial Opera House. Condensed into two hours with one 20-minute intermission, the cast of these special performances is comprised of current and former Adler Fellows. Tenor Alek Shrader stars as “Nemorino” opposite soprano Ji Young Yang as “Adina”. Baritone Eugene Brancoveanu, familiar as “The Pilot” in SF Opera’s recent production of The Little Prince, is the dashing “Sergeant Belcore”. Dale Travis appears as “Dulcamara” and soprano Nikki Einfeld as “Giannetta”. Conductor Giuseppe Finzi makes his San Francisco Opera debut with this production.
The opera will be performed in English with English supertitles. THE ELIXIR OF LOVE for Families is recommended for families with children aged six and older.
Click on the dates below to purchase tickets on-line:
SATURDAY, November 8th, 12:30 pm
SATURDAY, November 15th, 12:30 pm

Visit Seán on YouTube:
Lorena Feijóo – A Look at “Giselle” with Seán Martinfield
SAMSON & DELILAH – Meet Seán Martinfield
CA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES – A Preview Look with Seán Martinfield

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See Related: FINE ARTS CRITIC SEAN MARTINFIELD

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Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT NOT VOTING
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