Lovely ‘Lucia’

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

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

From left, California state Sen. Milton Marks, Sen. Nicholas Petris, Assemblyman John Knox and activists Claire Dedrick, Sylvia McLaughlin and Janet Adams watch Gov. Ronald Reagan sign the bill establishing the Bay Conservation and Development Commission as a permanent agency in 1969. (Courtesy Save The Bay)
Sixty years of Saving San Francisco Bay

Pioneering environmental group was started by three ladies on a mission

Temporary high-occupancy vehicle lanes will be added to sections of state Highway 1 and U.S. Highway 101, including Park Presidio Boulevard, to keep traffic flowing as The City reopens. <ins>(Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Transit and high-occupancy vehicle lanes coming to some of The City’s busiest streets

Changes intended to improve transit reliability as traffic increases with reopening

Tents filled up a safe camping site in a former parking lot at 180 Jones St. in the Tenderloin in June 2020.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Proposal for major expansion of safe sleeping sites gets cool reception in committee

Supervisor Mandelman calls for creation of more temporary shelter sites to get homeless off streets

A surplus of	mice on the Farallon Islands have caused banded burrowing owls to stay year round instead of migrating, longtime researchers say. <ins>(Courtesy Point Blue Conservation Science)</ins>
Farallon Islands researchers recommend eradicating mice

The Farallon Islands comprise three groups of small islands located nearly 30… Continue reading

Once we can come and go more freely, will people gather the way they did before COVID? <ins>(Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner file photo)</ins>
What happens when the pandemic is over?

After experiencing initial excitement, I wonder just how much I’ll go out

Most Read