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 soprano from San Jose sang a “Lucia” on fire from the first note to the last Friday night, in 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 production of Donizetti’s “Lucia” takes place on a stage 22feet wide and 28 feet deep. During the wedding scene, complete with dancing of sorts, every square inch of that “stage” is taken. Barnaby Palmer conducts an orchestra of 17, each section represented by a single player (except for doubling the trumpets and horns), in a presentation 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 after-effects of food poisoning), some personal-best accomplishments, and above all, La Trevigne.
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.”
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 in San Francisco, through Saturday, singing “Lucia.” Don’t miss it.
Trevigne is well supported by Palmer’s music direction, 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 stage, and carpenter/business manager/supertitlist Simon Palmer missed only one cue. Costume designer Meghan Muser went to town with rakish hats.
Lucia di Lammermoor
Presented by San Francisco Lyric Opera
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Florence Gould Theater, Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave., San Francisco
Contact: (415) 392-4400 or www.cityboxoffice.com