Monday, August 11, 2008

David Roth's Santa Fe trip

NOTES from Wednesday, July 30th, 2008:

On Tuesday afternoon I arrived in Albuquerque via Burbank, compliments of Southwest. Easy flight, with this traveler happy to use the online check-in that allots a boarding number in lieu of a seat assignment. The Sunport airport in Albuquerque has perfected the art of getting travelers to their rental cars with the most efficient shuttles. In minutes, I was on the road to my favorite B&B in the world, the Bobcat Inn, located one driveway away from the Bobcat Bite serving the world’s finest hamburger. Since I hadn't eaten through the day of transit and it was now working on 4:30pm, the aroma of grilled beef wafting across the highway called to me and my stomach. I'm pleased to report neither were disappointed. After a quick nap in my room at the Bobcat, I freshened up and headed off to the opera.

This time of year, because of its open auditorium design and the late arrival of sunset, curtain time at the Santa Fe Opera is 8:30pm. The offering on Tuesday was Giuseppe Verdi's final opera Falstaff, based on Shakespeare's comedy, The Merry Wives of Windsor. Verdi and his cherished librettist Boito took the essence of Shakespeare's play but focused their attention on the ladies’ ardent admirer, Sir John Falstaff. My ol' university pal, Franco Pomponi sang the role of FORD, while Anthony Michaels-Moore was making his debut in the title role. The cast did not fail us, vocally or dramatically, with a delightful ensemble that brought playfulness and spontaneity to the evening’s proceedings. In general, the sets by Allen Moyer were quite effective except for the final scene in the forest that was seemed surprisingly unmagical and sparse compared to the creative scenes that came before it. Paolo Arrivabeni made his American debut, leading the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra in a well paced, colorful performance that matched the lively performances of the artists onstage.

Tonight, Wednesday evening, I will attend the American premiere of Kaija Saariaho's new opera Adriana Mater. At this time, I’m off to the Coyote Cafe on Water Street for lunch with Franco , his wife Chris and parents Joe and Gila visiting from Northbrook Illinois. Joining us for lunch will be Maestro David Jackson from New York.

Photo from Diana Ross concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

Next Post: Notes from Thursday, July 31st.

posted by David

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