With the director of the San Francisco Opera retiring, Jim wanted to see a few of the productions in his last season, so we bought a “4 pack.” Trust me, if you want to see opera in San Francisco, a “short” subscription of at least 4 productions will make the per-opera cost much more reasonable. Last year we only wanted to see 2 productions, so we couldn’t get a subscription; this year our 4 opera subscription cost us less than the 2 sets of 2 tickets.
Last week we saw Die Zauberflöte, aka the Magic Flute. Now, I like Mozart, and I like the Magic Flute, silly as it is. But I thought SF Opera’s production was odd. In an opera talking about the worship of Isis and Osiris, they chose to costume all the temple priests like characters in a Japanese Noh play, including whiteface makeup and very odd headdresses. The hero and heroine, and the Queen of the Night and her court, wore more or less normal stylized costumes; but the “3 boys” who guide the hero through his mystical trials floated in inverted cones suspended on visible wires, and were dressed like Indian servants in a movie about the British Raj, including turbans.