Some sopranos singing the title role of "Lucia di Lammermoor" work
their way up to the great climactic Mad Scene (and some die there...
or before), but not Talise Trevigne. This young, beautiful
(http://www.novoartists.com/trevigne.html) soprano from San Jose sang a
Lucia on fire from the first note to the last tonight, a world-class
performance in circumstances that couldn't be humbler.
The Legion of Honor's Florence Gould Theater may be a charming jewel
box, but the San Francisco Lyric Opera's "Lucia" production is taking
place on a stage 22 feet wide and 28 feet in depth. During the wedding
scene celebration, complete with dancing of sorts, every square inch of
that "stage" is taken. Barbaby Palmer is conducting an orchestra of 17,
each section represented by a single player (except for doubling the
trumpets and horns), in a performance taking place before an audience
considerably under the theater's 300-seat capacity.
So what would you expect? Not this: a fine all-around performance
(except for an indisposed tenor, singing through the aftereffects of
food poisoning), some personal-best accomplishments, and above all, La
From a full-voiced "Regnava nel silenzio" to "Quando rapito in estasi,"
a rapturous love duet (sung pretty much as a solo), a glorious Sextet
in which Trevigne took everybody with her to a higher level, to the
Mad Scene - rightly interrupted by applause before the "Spargi d'amaro
pianto" conclusion - the soprano did everything right, and yet never
sounded "singerly." Hers is a big voice, but not outsized, a voice with
warmth and agility, the projection is flawless (the diction isn't), and
above all, Trevigne sings without effort, sounding natural, musical, and
conveying a sense of joy in her art. She sings dramatic soprano and
coloratura, and everything in-between, but the listener is aware of the
music only, not the technique, the fach, the voice production.
On her way to a big career, and roles in London, at the opening of the
Sacramento Symphony's season, then in Birmingham, and Chicago - she is
right here in the city, through June, singing Lucia. It is not to be
Trevigne was well supported by Palmer's conducting, concertmaster
Rita Lee, harpist Wendy Tamis, and a fine chorus overcoming its miniscule
size. Roberto Gomez, the Enrico, had his best night of his many appearances
with Lyric Opera. Sergey Zadvorny's sonorous Raimondo and A.J. Glueckert's
all-too-brief appearance as Arturo made welcome contributions. Set
designer Jean-Francois Revon did well on the postage-stamp stage, and
carpenter/business manager/supertitlist Simon Palmer missed only one
clue. Costume designer Meghan Muser went to town with rakish hats.
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